Belfast Telegraph

Former Ulster coach Allen Clarke relieved of duties as Ospreys head coach

Former Ulster forwards coach Allen Clarke has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Ospreys
Former Ulster forwards coach Allen Clarke has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Ospreys
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

The Ospreys have parted company with head coach Allen Clarke, who was formerly forwards coach with Ulster, after their dismal start to the season.

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The Dungannon man saw his side win just one of their opening eight games this season, leaving them sixth in Conference A of the Guinness PRO14 and already 11 points off the play-offs.

In recent weeks they suffered a shock home defeat to PRO14 whipping boys the Southern Kings, then heavy back-to-back losses in the Heineken Champions Cup to Munster and Saracens.

Clarke has had to deal with one of the largest injury lists in the PRO14, which hasn't helped, including the long-term loss of Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe, who arrived in the summer.

However, the poor results - which have been accompanied by poor performances as well - have forced Ospreys general manager Andrew Millward's hand.

That has led to Clarke being relieved of his duties at the region, which appears to be in free-fall both on and off the pitch, just 19 months after taking over and being given a three-year contract.

The 52-year-old had a strong debut season with the Welsh region, helping them to qualify for last season's Champions Cup - the only region to do so - but that has not been enough to save him.

The Ospreys will now have to find two new coaches for next season, with attack coach Matt Sherratt having already announced his intended departure.

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