Steve Diamond has stepped down from his position as the Sale Sharks director of rugby due to personal reasons.
Diamond made over 350 appearances for Sale as a player and became the club’s director of rugby in 2012, but the news of his immediate departure was confirmed via a statement on the club’s website on Tuesday.
Paul Deacon is to take charge of first team until further notice.
Commenting on his shock exit, Diamond said: ‘After 10 proud years with Sale Sharks I have taken the decision to step away from the business.
‘I feel that this is the perfect moment to hand over to someone else, given the club is now stable and in a great position to compete at the highest level.
‘We have acquired a world-class training facility, built an academy that is the envy of many premiership clubs and constructed a squad that can win tournaments and trophies at domestic and European level.
‘I know Simon and Ged will continue with the progress we have made together, and I now look forward to taking some time out and planning my next challenge.’
The news comes as a big shock, especially since Diamond as recently as last week was still busy adding a new recruit to his squad with second rower Jean-Pierre du Preez became the 10th South African to join the current playing group.
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