Derek Eves, Coventry RFCs director of rugby, has
been sacked. He stays with the club purely as a player.
Yesterday he was the supremo with the power to hire and fire, today he does not even
know whether he will be in Saturdays side to play Blackheath at Coundon Road. The
sides run of poor form brought about his downfall.
The new director of rugby is Keith Richardson, the England A coach, formerly coach at
Gloucester and Harlequins.
Richardson takes over at the end of the season and meanwhile school headmaster Peter
Rossborough will act as director of rugby.
Rossborough is well qualified. He won England caps while playing for Coventry, he
coaches the Midlands regional squad and was manager of the England A team which toured
Canada. He has been helping out with coaching duties at Coventry this season.
Eves, who was signed from Bristol three and a half years ago, is the victim of
Coventrys recent run of bad form. The side has lost its last four matches, slipping
below halfway when they had looked capable of mounting a promotion challenge.
The 33 year olds own form has never been questioned, but Coventry have now
decided that the burden of being a player as well as team supremo is too heavy for one
pair of shoulders.
Keith Fairbrother, Coventrys chairman, said:
"The board feels it is acting in the clubs best interests. Having a player
as director of rugby does not really work.
"Only Francois Pienaar at Saracens has proved successful combining the two jobs.
"Dereks commitment to the club is unquestioned. He is an outstanding player
and has always led from the front, but we feel our best way forward is to divide the
The disappointed Eves was refusing to make any comment today, but a close friend said:
"He has been told his current contract remains unchanged to the end of the season.
I think you will find that he will honour it and stay on as a player if
Richardson, who played against Eves in the tough local derbies between Gloucester and
"I am really looking forward to it. Coventry were the best side in the country in
their great days and they have not fallen as low as some clubs. They are a sleeping giant
and I am very excited about this challenge."