Sheffield Tigers and Dan Richmond have parted company with immediate effect, ahead of the club’s crucial home game against Bromsgrove tomorrow.
The former Northampton Saints captain, who was due to leave at the end of the season, has made the decision to vacate his post early due to work commitments.
Now, with eight games remaining, Richmond’s replacement will have enough time to prepare for next season.
Richmond, who spent nine months in charge, leaves a Tigers side who sit 14 points adrift of safety.
The club have confirmed that assistant coach David Holmes will take charge of first team duties, whilst the club searches for Richmond’s replacement.
A club statement read: “Discussions between Sheffield Tigers’ committee and Dan Richmond agreed it was the best decision for him to step down as director of rugby.
“During the discussions regarding the future of Tigers, Dan was unable to give any commitment for the next season, largely due to his professional commitments with Sale, Worcester, Bedford Athletic, and England Rugby.
“This move allows the club time to recruit a replacement, and gives the new coach adequate time to prepare for the next season.
“In the short term, assistant coach David Holmes will manage the 1st XV until a replacement is engaged.”
Holmes’ first task will be to navigate Tigers to their first win in four matches, when they host fellow relegation rivals Bromsgrove this weekend at Dore Moor.
Speaking ahead of the game, recent signing Ben Buxton said: “It’s really important for us to get back to winning ways.
“There is added importance because we are at home and we need to go out and close the gap on Hull this weekend.”
Meanwhile at Sheffield RUFC, Adam Byron praisedJames Twomey’s form after the winger bagged himself a hat trick in the 34-20 defeat of Middlesbrough last weekend.
With the head coach trying to add more width and dimension to Sheffield RUFC’s playing style, Byron has admitted that Twomey has become the vocal point of his side’s attacking play.
“We have a wide, flat pitch and it is great to play good expansive rugby,” Byron told Grass Roots.
“We are really starting to open up the field and that has really suited James.
“He has come down two divisions to play for us and he shows that in his quality.
“He’s a dangerous player and we have to create the space for him and get ball out to him on the wing.
“You can see where our attacks are coming from, we had three tries from the wings and we have had them from full back as well, so it shows what we are trying to do.”
Byron is now targeting a third straight victory this weekend as he looks to close the gap even further and lift Sheffield off the foot of the North 1 East table.
Sheffield will travel to the North East to face promotion chasing West Hartlepool and apart from Tom King, missing with a shoulder injury, Byron will have a full squad to pick from.
With that Byron has one message for his players ahead of the game: “The pressure and the gloves are off this weekend,” he said.
“We need to absorb everything that is thrown at us and then expose them when they tire.
“We need to be at our best, play our own game and just go there and score as many tries as possible.”