Welsh rugby's internal rows driving talent away, says Sean Holley

Sean Holley, Nigel Davies and Dai Young

Ex-Ospreys coach Sean Holley admits the battles between the Welsh Rugby Union and the nation's regions helped him decide to become

Holley, a three-time Celtic League-winning coach at Ospreys, was also "disappointed" at the lack of interest in him from within the Welsh game.

He added: "I certainly had my fair share of that [Welsh rugby politics] in my time at the Ospreys.

"There never seems to be a dull moment and it does discourage you."

Wales regions - Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Newport Gwent Dragons and Ospreys - are due to meet the WRU board on Thursday amid ongoing rows sparked by George North's transfer from the Scarlets to Northampton.

The two parties issued over "control" to back up their respective views of the future of the professional tier in Wales.

Holley says the game's financial and political issues have helped influence other players - and coaches - to leave Wales.

Ex-Blues boss Dai Young is in charge at London Wasps, while Nigel Davies traded in his post at the Scarlets to take over at Gloucester.

And Holley's former Ospreys' coaching boss Lyn Jones is at relegated Premiership side London Welsh, who will face Bristol in English rugby's second tier in 2013-14.

"Clearly there are financial issues [in Welsh rugby], clearly there are political issues and the people that are caught in the middle are the players and coaches, who are caught between a rock and a hard place," said Holley.

"It's no coincidence that we are seeing some top players go across the bridge [to England], go across the water [to France].

"And we're seeing quite a lot of coaches now, who have spent a lot of time in the regional game... now plying their trade elsewhere."

Having coached at Gloucester before joining Ospreys when they were formed in 2003, Holley is keen to rekindle his career in England.

He says the time was right for a "bit of a change" after 10 years in Wales, which included a short spell with Scarlets this season after losing his job at Ospreys in February 2012.

He added: "Not a lot was forthcoming from within my own country, which was disappointing.

"But as well there's a lot of trouble at the moment in Welsh rugby and that's perhaps something that has kept me away for the last year or so.

"But it needed to be the right incentive. It needed to be the right challenge and Bristol have afforded me that."

Top Stories