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29th May, 2022

Thomas departs Sixways as Diamond assumes control in coaching shake-up

Rob George 25th Jan, 2022

WARRIORS head coach Jonathan Thomas has left Sixways as part of a major coaching shake-up which will see consultant Steve Diamond become Director of Rugby at the end of the season.

Just days after his young side recorded the club’s first away win for 16 months, Sixways chiefs announced Thomas’s departure and the retirement of current DoR Alan Solomons in June.

The moves will mean Diamond, who joined as lead rugby consultant in November, takes charge of the entire playing operation immediately with Solomons providing support as needed.

Diamond will then become Director of Rugby in June on a two-year deal, a decision described as ‘logical’ by Warriors co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham.

“Steve is an experienced and proven Director of Rugby with the qualities needed to take the club to the next level and achieve our ambitions of competing at the top end of the Premiership,” they said.

“We have invested a great deal into ensuring we have all the right ingredients for the club to reach its full potential. We have unwavering confidence in the strength of the players and the ability of the club to achieve that goal.

“Jonathan has given his all to the club. We appreciate everything he’s done in his time at Warriors both as a player and a coach and we wish him all the very best in his future ventures.”

“Alan arrived in a consultancy role four years ago and his recruitment philosophy to develop and invest in a core of home-grown Worcester players and supplement them with x-factor talent has led to the development and retention of an exciting group of young players with more now coming through behind them in the academy,” they added.

Diamond, who played more than 350 games for Sale in a career that spanned the amateur and professional eras, has a proven track record as a coach with Sale, Saracens and the Russia national team.

Sale won the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2019/20, Diamond’s last full season in charge at the AJ Bell Stadium and they also qualified for the Heineken Champions Cup five times.

“We have enthusiastic owners who have ambitions for the club to be established in the top six of the Gallagher Premiership and playing in the Heineken Champions Cup,” Diamond said.

“Clearly we are not where we would like to be at the moment as a club. To achieve our ambitions, our results need to improve and changes need to be made.

“Worcester is a hotbed of rugby with a fantastic core group of supporters. We want to grow that supporter base and give the city, county and region a successful and sustainable Premiership club that everyone can be proud of.”

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