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PEMBROKESHIRE rugby star Jonathan Thomas has left Gallagher Premiership club Worcester Warriors RFC as head coach with immediate effect.
Worcester are currently in 12th position in the Premiership table, having won three of their first 12 games, ahead of hosting Northampton on Saturday.
“Jonathan has given his all," said Warriors co-owner Colin Goldring on ex-Wales forward Thomas, a former pupil of Pembroke Comprehensive School.
"We appreciate everything he’s done in his time at Warriors both as a player and a coach and we wish him all the very best in his future ventures,"
He made 44 appearances for Warriors between 2013 and 2015, helping to secure promotion from the Championship in a dramatic play-off final against Bristol.
Thomas also won 67 caps for Wales between 2003 and 2011, including two Grand Slam campaigns and two Rugby World Cups, before he moved into coaching.
“Nothing but big love for the players, coaches, support staff and supporters at Worcester Warriors," said 39 year-old Thomas in a classy post on Twitter.
"This team is ready to take off over the next 12 months. Awesome young players coming through and I've really enjoyed putting some good foundations in place."
The Warriors have revealed that former Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond will succeed Alan Solomons as director of rugby at the end of this season on a two-year contract.
Diamond was appointed in a rugby consultancy role in November, and will remain in that capacity for now whilst immediately taking charge of their rugby programme.
“Steve is an experienced and proven Director of Rugby with the qualities needed to take the club to the next level and achieve our ambitions of competing at the top end of the Premiership, " said Goldring.
“We have invested a great deal into ensuring we have all the right ingredients for the club to reach its full potential.
“We have unwavering confidence in the strength of the players and the ability of the club to achieve that goal. We will continue to do everything we can to achieve it."
Diamond is now looking forward to taking charge at Sixways and helping Warriors to become similarly competitive.
“We have a really exciting challenge in front of us and it’s one that I am relishing,” he said.
“We have enthusiastic owners who have ambitions for the club to be established in the top six of the Gallagher Premiership and playing in the Heineken Champions Cup.
“Clearly we are not where we would like to be at the moment as a club. To achieve our ambitions, our results need to improve and changes need to be made. A key part of my role will be the recruitment of players and staff.
“Worcester is a hotbed of rugby with a fantastic core group of supporters.
"We want to grow that supporter base and give the city, county and region a successful and sustainable Premiership club that everyone can be proud of.”