Rob Penney has been sacked as Waratahs head coach, but his assistants Chris Whitaker and Matt Cockbain have retained their jobs.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the decision by the New South Wales Rugby Union to let Penney go was one of a wide range of drastic measures to help keep the Vodacom Super Rugby franchise afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Penney, who signed on as NSW coach in October last year, has since gone back to his native New Zealand to be with family, but is still assisting the team from afar in preparation for a potential return to an Australian domestic competition.
‘We’ve made the decision to go with our two assistant coaches during this period of time and Rob is on stand down,’ NSW Rugby chief executive Paul Doorn said.
‘That is not to do with performance, it’s just a combination of factors. From our perspective, we are looking at improving individual skills at a forwards and backs level.
‘It’s not as if he’s gone into isolation, he’s still engaged but on stand down. There are a whole host of people we’d love to keep on the books, but it’s just not possible at the moment.’
As the union’s CEO, Doorn has also accepted a 30% salary reduction to help ease the financial strain on NSW Rugby amid the coronavirus.
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