IT was a day of shocks at Worcester Warriors on Tuesday as the club revealed that head coach Jonathan Thomas had departed Sixways and Lead Rugby Consultant Steve Diamond has taken charge of the club.

Diamond, who joined the club two months ago, will take the role of Director of Rugby at the end of the season when Alan Solomons retires from coaching.

But with Thomas leaving, Diamond will now run the side for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign before he takes the reins fully ahead of 2022/23. 

READ | Worcester head coach Thomas leaves as Diamond takes lead role

It comes as little surprise to most that Solomons will step down and Diamond will take his place but lots were shocked by Thomas’ abrupt departure. 

This was his first full season as head coach and they are unbeaten in six of their last 11 games in all competitions, so it begs the question... who made the decision? 

There was speculation on social media that perhaps Thomas left because he wanted the DoR role, but weeks ago the Welshman specified he had no ambitions of being anything but a head coach at this early stage of his coaching career. So did it not work out with Diamond?

The former Sale Sharks boss would not reveal whether it was Thomas' decision or not to leave.

"I can't really speak about it," he said

"It was a decision made by the board and all I can say is that I have been given the reins going forward and hopefully I will continue the good work Jonathan Thomas did here."

The club announced the news at lunchtime on Tuesday, in which a statement read: "Jonathan has given his all to the club. We appreciate everything he’s done in his time at Warriors both as a player and a coach and we wish him all the very best in his future ventures."

Thomas also took to Twitter to say: "Nothing but big love for the players, coaches, support staff and supporters at Worcester Warriors. This team is ready to take off over the next 12 months. Awesome young players coming through and I’ve really enjoyed putting some good foundations in place. #WarriorsFamily".

Diamond praised Thomas for what he had created and now he hopes to build on that at the start of his reign.

"Timing is never good but we have to look at the positives that were created of the previous regime and build on that," he added.

"Hopefully we can implement that with some recruitment in one or two areas going forward.

"Worcester is a hotbed of rugby with a fantastic core group of supporters. We want to grow that supporter base and give the city, county and region a successful and sustainable Premiership club that everyone can be proud of."

Diamond, who played more than 350 games for Sale in a career that spanned the amateur and professional eras, has a proven track record as a coach with Sale, Saracens and the Russia national team.

He re-joined Sale in 2011, initially as Director of Sport before being appointed Director of Rugby the following year.

Sale won the Premiership Rugby Cup in 2019/20 in Diamond’s last full season in charge at the AJ Bell Stadium and they also qualified for the Heineken Champions Cup five times.

And the new man in charge believes there is no reason why Worcester cannot be just as successful as his previous club.

But he says there will be a certain element of change.

"I think there's a lot of good people, players and facilities here," added Diamond

"But what I bring is a different edge from what previous coaches have had, a little more abrasive.

"I have a different outlook of how we should play and I think we have the resources here to do that.

"I spent two months advising, listening, watching and I made some recommendations and they have now been implemented."