Vodacom Super Rugby
Players force coach out
Richard Graham (Gallo Images)
Perth - Perth-based Western Force has sacked coach Richard Graham after bowing to the demands of the players, who were angry at his decision to move to Queensland next season.
Graham was initially going to see out the season with the Force despite announcing earlier in the week he would join the Queensland Reds as head coach from next year.
A number of Force players were unhappy with the situation and put pressure on the board to cut ties with Graham before next week's home clash with the Stormers.
Graham conducted a training session on Friday morning but later in the day was told his services were no longer required.
Force defence coach and former rugby league star Phil Blake, who is also skills coach at the Wallabies, will join Nick Stiles and Andrew Scotney on a coaching panel for the rest of the season.
Captain David Pocock and club stalwart Nathan Sharpe will also provide "additional resources", the Force said in a statement.
The Force said more than 30 applicants had already put their names forward to become the new head coach next season.