On this day in 2006: Mike Ruddock steps down as Wales head coach

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Mike Ruddock resigned as Wales head coach, on this day in 2006.

The then 46-year-old stepped down as head coach just 11 months after he led his country to their first Six Nations Grand Slam triumph in 27 years, leaving the side in turmoil.

Ruddock stood down from the top job at Wales and decided he did not want to sacrifice his family life to lead Wales into the 2007 World Cup.

Rugby Union – RBS 6 Nations Championship 2005 – Wales v Ireland – Millennium Stadium
Ruddock helped Wales to their first Grand Slam victory in 27 years (Rebecca Naden/PA)

“I have decided to withdraw from contract talks to take Wales to the 2007 World Cup in France. This has been a tough decision to make but I have decided to put my family first.

“What I have found during my two years as coach is that the position is ‘more than a job’. That has meant I have spent long periods away from my family, in camp and overseas.

“As a consequence, I felt the intense build-up to next year’s World Cup would mean more time away from my family. That is something, on refection, I would like to avoid.”

Mike Ruddock
Ruddock cited ‘family reasons’ behind his resignation from the head coach position (David Davies/PA)

Ruddock’s resignation came days after he saw Wales claim a 28-18 win over Scotland in Cardiff.

Gareth Jenkins succeeded Ruddock and signed a two-year deal to take over the Wales rugby side.

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