WARRIORS director of rugby Gary Gold will leave Sixways at the end of the season to become the head coach of the USA.
Gold, who is contracted to Worcester until the end of the 2017/18 Aviva Premiership campaign, will help the club identify a successor to replace him as director of rugby before committing to his new role with the Eagles.
After steering the club to Premiership safety following his arrival in February, Gold announced he would stay on as Warriors’ director of rugby for the current campaign, but the Worcester chief has endured a tough start with five consecutive defeats leaving the club bottom of the Premiership.
Upon his return to international rugby, having spent three years as assistant coach of South Africa from 2008 to 2011, Gold will oversee the USA’s 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan, where he will come up against Eddie Jones’ England side in Pool C.
Gold said: “I would like to thank (Warriors chairman) Bill Bolsover and the board for understanding my decision to accept the opportunity to coach at international level.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sixways and my focus will remain on Warriors until the end of the season, when I hope to leave the club in a strong place to ensure it can be successful in the long-term.”
Bolsover said: “We’re naturally disappointed Gary will be leaving the club at the end of the season, but we fully understand his desire to coach at an international level.
“We’re working with Gary to ensure we can appoint a director of rugby who is capable of building on the good work he and his coaching team have done this year and someone who is able to take us forward as Gary has done.
“We’re confident Gary will be able to oversee a successful season for the club before he takes on his new position.”
Warriors travel to the West Country to take on Bath at the Recreation Ground on Saturday (3pm) but hopes Springbok Francois Hougaard would return were dashed with news he will be on the treatment table for three weeks with an abductor injury.
Australian fly-half Jono Lance has joined the club on a short-term deal with immediate effect, having recently featured for Western Force in their 2017 Super Rugby campaign.
“Jono is a player who’s got vast experience at the top level having won Super Rugby titles with different clubs,” said Gold.
“He’ll help drive the competition for the number ten jersey and we’re looking forward to seeing what he has to offer.”