HEAD coach Greg Woods and his management team have left Ebbw Vale ahead of the start of the Premiership season.

The Steelmen propped up the eastern group of the Premiership Cup after going on an eight-game losing streak.

Ebbw were hit hard by injuries to senior players – notably captain Joe Franchi, his brother Dom and fly-half Rhys Jones – but it has still led to a “mutual decision” for changes at the top.

Woods and his coaching group of Lewis Roberts, Gethin Robinson, Ed Bruce and Darren Venn have left Eugene Cross Park and, with the Premiership getting under way on December 11, the hunt is now on for a new boss.

“I am fully aware that the recent run of results haven’t been good enough and to date we have had a disappointing season,” said Woods.

“I would like to thank everyone at the club and there are too many to mention personally for welcoming me and my family and for all the support over the years.

“I would just like to wish the players, staff, supporters, Jon (Jones, chairman) and the committee all the best in the future.”

South Wales Argus: Greg Woods at Cross KeysGreg Woods at Cross Keys

Woods headed to Ebbw after a successful period in charge of Cross Keys, famously leading the Pandy Park club to their first major trophy when winning the WRU National Cup at Principality Stadium in 2012.

Jones paid tribute to the former hooker after four years at the helm.

“The club holds high regard for Greg and his team and in a clear display of honesty and integrity they have tendered their resignations to allow the club to build a new coaching group for the coming league season and the return of relegation next season,” said the chairman.

“Greg has endeared himself to the Ebbw Addicts with his openness, understanding of the importance of the club to the community, will to win and pride at being coach of the club delivering some memorable victories, a run to the semi-finals of the cup and strong finishes in the league.

“The group also worked tirelessly and without complaint as they dealt with the loss of players and then the onset of Covid and for all of this the club will always be grateful.

“All will always be welcome at the club and we wish them success in what they choose to do next.”

Ebbw kick off their Premiership campaign at Merthyr on December 11 and won’t face the pressure of a relegation battle because all of the WRU leagues will remain unchanged for 2022/23 because of the challenges of the pandemic.