Rugby moving closer to football in coach-sacking culture

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The Aviva Premiership is moving closer to football in terms of sacking culture with the demands brought by increased revenue and competition in the league driving expectation.

Those are the thoughts of the founder and director of the Rugby Coaches Association, Richard Moon, after the recent sackings in the Aviva Premiership.

Leicester Tigers axed Richard Cockerill at the start of January, Bristol parted company with Andy Robinson in November, while Mike Ford was fired by Bath last summer, a year after being named manager of the year.

"There have been more (sackings) - but ever more interestingly it's when they are happening," Moon told the BBC. "They are tending, more recently, to happen during a season rather than at the end of a season.

"As an association we are keeping an eye on these developments. More and more, if coaches are not given a reasonable and realistic chance to get to where they want to be in a season, short-termism is of real concern.

"There is more short-termism because rugby is big business now."

Moon stated that rugby, unlike football, provides more instability for coaches who lose their jobs. Due to the small number of professional clubs in the sport, compared to football, there is less of a chance a coach will walk into a similar role at the same level after being sacked.

"There is more expectation on rugby coaches, certainly in the Premiership, to deliver - and if they are not delivering in a short time frame it would seem that owners are being more proactive than they have been in the past.

"Coaches seem to be judged on short-term goals and results. Are they judged a bit like football managers in their first two or three games? Or do you get to Christmas, Easter or the Premiership play-offs? That time period is getting smaller and smaller."