Saracens sack Diamond and turn to Jones

Eddie Jones, who was coaching the Wallabies to defeat against England at Twickenham less than three months ago, will fly in from Australia to take up a short-term consultancy role before returning home to begin a stint at Super 14 level with the Queensland Reds. Mike Ford, one of the defence coaches on last summer's Lions tour of New Zealand, will remain in post at Saracens, as will the rest of the back-room staff.

Saracens have parted company with a number of high-profile rugby directors in recent seasons: Francois Pienaar, Wayne Shelford, Rod Kafer. In beginning their search for another new man - the former Wasps and Gloucester coach Nigel Melville was being touted yesterday - they will crave some stability.

Diamond has been stood down with immediate effect. A relatively inexperienced coach who prided himself on his common touch, he enjoyed remarkable success after replacing Kafer midway through last season, guiding the club to Heineken Cup qualification. The current campaign has turned sour, though, with Saracens finding themselves in the relegation zone.

Jones, sacked by the Wallabies after last autumn's European tour, will be a busy man for the next few months. Yesterday, the International Rugby Board appointed him to oversee a coaching review of Pacific Islands rugby, which is just about as far removed from the professional game in Watford as it is possible to be.

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