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Phillips replaces Burnell

London Welsh have parted ways with head coach Justin Burnell and confirmed Rowland Phillips will take charge of team affairs.

Former Wales back-rower and defence coach Phillips joined Welsh's staff in 2014 and is now promoted to the main role at the Aviva Premiership's bottom club .

Welsh's 74-19 defeat to Exeter Chiefs on March 7 made it 17 losses from as many games, and became the final straw for Burnell, who was thanked for his efforts including their promotion push in 2013-14.

Phillips insists he can engineer a positive end to the current campaign, telling the club's website: "It's been a very tough season in the Premiership trying to play with a squad built on an uneven financial playing field.

"But the boys are determined to rescue something from this season."

Phillips, who also played rugby league for both Wales and Great Britain, had a spell as a player for London Welsh in 1997 and his coaching experience includes a spell at Ospreys and in Italy with Viadana and Aironi.

Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips wished Burnell well for the future, adding: "As Chairman, I would like to add my sincere thanks and very best wishes to Justin and his family for the future.

"The harsh reality is that the club has had a mountain to climb in terms of now well documented challenges on the financial and structural regime presently in place in Premiership rugby which any coach or club would, to put it mildly, find daunting."

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