So I had a nice preview (well, a preview) for Sunday’s game ready to upload today, but there is only one news story at Kingston Park today – Alan Tait has been replaced with Gary Gold as Director of Rugby, while Mike Ford also joins us as defence coach.
I imagine most supporters will have had the same reaction as me: “About time!” Although at times last season the Falcons produced far better rugby than Steve Bates even knew could be played, in 2011/12 the performances have been poor, culminating in the horror show against Exeter last weekend.
We are in massive danger of relegation, so a change had to be made. Tait’s record in charge is not pretty: 52 games, 14 wins, two draws and 36 defeats.
Although there was a first cup final in seven years in amongst that, last season’s LV= Cup Final, Tait’s time in charge was not good enough overall and he had to go. I for one though would like to thank him for his hard work as we move into the future.
It just goes to show that the popular choice (Tait seemed to be the supporters’ favourite to replace Bates in 2010) is not always the right decision.
The arrival of Gold and Ford out of the blue however has been universally welcomed though.
Gold was previously forwards coach with South Africa for four years under Peter de Villiers and apparently applied for the still-vacant top job, and had three years as manager at London Irish in the early 2000s. He has also been involved with the Stormers in Super Rugby and held the head coach position at Western Province.
During Gold’s time with the Springboks they won the Tri Nations and beat the Lions on their 2009 tour to the Cape.
He isn’t very popular with some London Irish fans though.
Ford also has experience of Premiership management, having been head coach at Saracens for a season before joining England as defence coach in May 2006. He has also been inducted into the Castleford Tigers hall of fame, having spent several years with the club during his career as a scrum-half in rugby league.
He is also the father of young fly-halves George Ford and Joe Ford, currently playing at Leicester and Leeds respectively.
Gold and Ford are initially at KP until the end of the season, and presumably have the brief to keep us in the Premiership. Paul Moriarty will take charge against Petrarca Padova on Sunday, before the new boys start the following week.
We wanted change, and now we have it. Let’s get behind the boys on Sunday and get the cup games off to a good start, follow that through and get some momentum going into the Premiership again in February!
(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)