Ring sacking splits Pontypool

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A rift between club and coach has opened up at the Heineken League First Division strugglers, Pontypool, with the sacking of their captain, Mark Ring, without the permission of the coach, Bobby Windsor, the former Wales and British Lions hooker.

Ring's dismissal followed "recent speculation" about his future at Pontypool Park, the club said. It added in a statement: "The interests of both parties would be best served by a severance of Ring's connections with the club."

The former Cardiff back refused to comment on the decision, but Windsor, who was not at the committee meeting where Ring was removed, said later: "I disagree with it. I do not know what the players will say.

After victory over Llanelli in Pontypool's last league match, the injury-plagued Ring had stated he was prepared to sit on the bench and let Jason Williams play fly-half, with the centre, Lee Jones, captaining the Gwent club. Ring had taken over coachingduties following the resignation of Windsor's assistant, Bob Dawkins.

Dawkins' resignation was followed by those of the committee members, Noel Williams and David Thomas, while the vice-chairman, Graham Price - a member of the famous Pontypool front row with Windsor - has stopped helping with coaching due to pressure of work.