Neil Bayliss: Launceston director of rugby steps down

Launceston RFC
Launceston lost seven games by a one-point margin last season

Launceston director of rugby Neil Bayliss has stepped down because of "cuts" at the National Two South club.

His shock resignation came after an emergency board meeting on Monday, where it was confirmed the Cornish All Blacks' playing budget would be "dramatically reduced".

"I believe these cuts will render the club's league status unsustainable," Bayliss said in a statement.

"We will undoubtedly lose the majority of the current squad."

He added: "New signings will not materialise and, as a result of this, results on the pitch will suffer."

Dick Straughan, BBC Radio Cornwall sports reporter
"As with many clubs in the National Leagues, adequate funding has certainly been an issue for the Cornish All Blacks in recent seasons, but the apparent sudden restrictions on the playing budget hint strongly that all is not well off the field.
"The sudden departure of Neil Bayliss would appear to be unexpected and will be a massive blow. He hasn't pulled his punches in stating that he does not believe that the club will be able to remain competitive at this level, and the recruitment and retention of good players are clearly major concerns.
"The loss of highly-rated scrum-half Matt Shepherd to Plymouth Albion and reports that talented full-back Billy Searle is to join him may just have been the final straw for Bayliss."

Bayliss became Launceston boss on a permanent deal in April 2014 and led them to a 10th-placed finish in the fourth tier of English rugby.

The players were due to start pre-season training later today.

"I feel let down off the pitch," said Bayliss. "I feel that I cannot achieve what I set out to achieve with things as they are.

"I find it incredibly sad that the board don't have the confidence to back the squad during Rugby World Cup year, when the finances of every rugby club in the country should be thriving.

"Many of our most loyal players are self-employed and travel up to 480 miles a week to train and play for this club that they love. The money they are paid barely covers their costs and they cannot afford to do it without a certain level of recompense."

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