Worcester Warriors can today confirm that Mike Ruddock OBE has resigned from his position as Director of Rugby at Sixways Stadium with immediate effect.
Former Wales coach Ruddock has been in charge at Warriors for the last three seasons and led the club to the European Challenge Cup final in 2008.
However, following the club's recent relegation from the Guinness Premiership, Chairman Cecil Duckworth OBE has announced that Ruddock has tendered his resignation.
Warriors Academy Manager Andrew Stanley will now take charge of senior team matters in the interim period and for the final league game of the season with Gloucester Rugby on Saturday, May 8.
All off field and contractual matters will be dealt with by General Manager Charlie Little.
"I have always enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Mike and I would firstly like to thank him for his contribution to Worcester Warriors during his tenure at Sixways," said Mr. Duckworth.
"Throughout his time at the club, Mike has always strived to develop an infrastructure that will enable the club to continue to grow and develop an enterprising style of rugby that can be embraced by the coaches and players.
"I would particularly praise him for his tremendous efforts in guiding talented Academy players, such as Matt Mullan, Miles Benjamin, Tom Wood and Alex Grove, into the first team and onto international call-ups during his period at Warriors.
"The results this season have been incredibly disappointing and Mike has taken full responsibility for this. We will now look to take the club forward under new leadership. I would like to wish Mike and his family every success in the future.
"Our focus now switches to the search for a successor to Mike Ruddock. With our recruitment of players for next season to add to the current squad I am sure they will guide us back into the Guinness Premiership at the first time of asking."
Mike Ruddock said: "As Director of Rugby I take full responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in. Ultimately our inability to win close games has cost us dearly.
"I would like to thank the Chairman, Cecil Duckworth, for his fantastic support during my time at the club. I am devastated that I have not been able to deliver the success both he and the fans at Sixways deserve.
"I am sure that the squad that has been put together for next season will bounce straight back up and that they will be even stronger for the experience. I truly wish Worcester Warriors every success for the future."
Even now Worcester Warrior Ryan Lamb is impressed by the physicality and athleticism of some of Aviva Premiership Rugby's giant forwards and has called on rugby newcomers to witness the intensity first hand.