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Bryan Redpath: Coaches are now under soccer-style pressure

Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath has revealed why a combination of declining job security and doubts over the future structure of English professional rugby persuaded him to call time on a stellar 30-year.

Former Scotland scrum-half and captain Redpath will quit rugby for a new role with financial services firm AFEX in May – a decision he claims is borne of the pressures facing coaches at both Premiership and Championship level.

Redpath, 45, told The Rugby Paper: “That’s definitely influenced my decision because you just never know when it’s your time.

“You can have good players, a good structure and fan-bases like Northampton, Gloucester and Leicester, but if the chemistry’s not quite right and you lose a few tight games, suddenly everybody’s very nervous.

“That’s the industry now, it’s week-to-week and when you see the spotlight coaches like Richard Cockerill, Jim Mallinder, Carl Hogg, John Kingston and David Humphreys have been under, it’s time for something different.

“Coaches are getting bigger financial rewards but patience is reducing and you’ve only got to look at football where coaches are under such enormous scrutiny. Rugby’s getting like that and there’s not as much trust around.”

Redpath, a veteran of three World Cups who also coached Gloucester and Sale, has doubts over pro rugby’s future as well.

He said: “It’s very hard to plan with all the changes that might be happening in the Championship and Premiership. Some people want a ten-team Premiership, others want 14 teams and nobody seems able to decide.

“Will top clubs have sister teams in the Championship? Will the A-League be scrapped? It’s hard holding on for six months not knowing what the budgets will be next season and that’s another big reason for my decision.”

Redpath admits leaving rugby will be a wrench but is determined to bow out a winner by leading Yorkshire to promotion.

He added: “London Irish are heavy favourites but it’s coming to that time of the season when the pressure will come on.

“Bristol and Worcester felt it in the past and Irish will carry that burden now. I think we’re in a good position to compete.”

NEALE HARVEY

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