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WORCESTER Warriors have parted company with head coach Richard Hill.
Hill has paid the ultimate price for another torrid season that has seen Worcester struggle to break clear of the Aviva Premiership drop-zone.
With London Welsh’s top-flight relegation confirmed at the weekend, the Sixways powers-that-be have opted to bring Hill’s time at the club to an end.
Former Bristol boss Hill was brought to Sixways in May 2010 in the wake of Mike Ruddock’s sacking with Warriors having been relegated to the Championship.
The ex-England scrum-half was charged with returning Worcester to the top tier of English rugby at the first time of asking, a challenge he achieved with a play-off final victory over Cornish Pirates.
Despite steadying the Sixways ship and keeping the side in the Premiership at the expense of Newcastle Falcons the following season, Hill has been unable to move the team forward.
Heineken Cup qualification has been a long-held ambition for Worcester but, under Hill, that dream seems as far away as it has ever been.
Hill has presided over a league campaign that has brought just five wins from 20 games to date and sees Worcester once again languishing in the division’s bottom four.
Warriors are currently ninth, ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Harlequins and the final-day trip to relegated Welsh, but there is no chance of them climbing any higher in the table.
Hill’s side are a massive 17 points adrift of sixth-placed Exeter Chiefs, who occupy the final Heineken Cup qualification spot, and the Sixways board have decided to act now in a bid to turn the club’s on-pitch fortunes around.
Tenth-placed Sale and London Irish, who are 11th, are two and three points below Warriors respectively, so there is a realistic chance Worcester could finish the year second-from-bottom, which would be far below what has been expected of Hill this term.