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Coach Graham quits the Force to join the Reds

Article Published: Monday 16 April 2012
Edited by: Rugbyweek.com.
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Coach Graham quits the Force to join the Reds

Western Force coach richard Graham has announced that he will leave his position as head coach of the Force and will join the Reds in Queensland for the 2013 season.

The Western Force have responded quickly by saying that they will look to recruit a world class coach for next season.

Graham said it was an extremely tough decision to make and one that hadn't come without considerable thought but in the end he felt it was best for his coaching career.

"The Western Force and RugbyWA gave me an opportunity to undertake my first full-time Head Coaching position and I'll forever be grateful for that. Perth is a wonderful place to live and play rugby and I will have no hesitation in telling that to anyone who asks me," Graham said.

"Purely from a personal standing as a career coach I felt it was something I needed to do but I wish to make it clear that it is in no way a reflection on RugbyWA or the Western Force.

"I intend to do everything I can to make the back half of our season a successful one and there will be no distractions in my desire to achieve finals for the club in 2012."

Graham took the reins at the Western Force ahead of the 2011 season following a year as an Assistant under inaugural Coach John Mitchell.

In the short time since being informed of the decision the West Australian side has cast the net far and wide in search of a suitably qualified individual and is already speaking to a shortlist of internationally recognised and experienced Coaches.

"We are firmly of the view that the Head Coaching position at the Western Force is a prestigious role, not only in the Super Rugby competition but globally," RugbyWA CEO Vern Reid said.

"From our initial discussions there has been strong interest from coaches with a world class pedigree and expect that now that the opening will be widely known we'll get plenty of enquiries.

"We are of course disappointed that Richard will not be part of the long term future at the Western Force but the nature of professional sport is that things can change very quickly and we have the contingency plans in place that will enable us to recruit a Head Coach of impeccable standing to the club.

"It is our preference to find an outstanding Australian coach either currently working overseas or in Australia to be Richard's replacement however we will look at every possibility to recruit the best credentialed coach that is available in world rugby."

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