1. ITV Report

Plymouth Albion sack boss Graham Dawe

Graham Dawes says he was asked to 'step down immediately' Credit: ITV West Country

Just a week after taking over the club, the new owners of Plymouth Albion have sacked their director of rugby Graham Dawe.

The former England international took charge for a second time just a year ago, but, while he was unable to help the team avoid relegation from the championship last season, this season they've won 20 of their 28 league games.

In his first meeting with new owners Bruce Priday and Nigel Sparrow Dawes said they informed him he was "not part of their current plans as they wanted a fresh start", asking him to step down immediately.

The announcement has not been confirmed by the club, and there is no formal statement on their website or Twitter.

Graham Dawe released a statement this morning and followed that up with a press conference at lunchtime where he told us he'd have liked to have stayed until the end of the season at least:

In his statement released this morning he said:

I have been asked by the new owners of Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club to step down immediately.

I met with Bruce Priday and Nigel Sparrow yesterday for the first time where they informed me I was not part of their current plans as they wanted a fresh start. This came without any previous dialogue between myself and them.

I was willing to listen to them before making any decision on my future but they had already made their minds up on the direction they wanted to go in.

It is sad for the players that the new owners want to make these change now with two games of the season still to go and such a promising future with this group of talented and close group.

I would personally like to thank all the players and staff for their efforts this season, all the supporters who have cheered the team on home and away and all the superb sponsors.

– Graham Dawes

There has also been a lot of vocal support for Graham Dawe, many failing to understand the decision, given the progress made this season.

Plymouth Herald sports writer, Phil Stoneham, called the decision beyond belief, writing:

The Plymouth Albion squad Credit: ITV West Country

After the totally bewildering announcement of this morning, I think there will be a flood of players heading for the door the second their contract expires.

And I can't blame them. This whole episode – putting the club on the market, going into administration, selling the club – has been a complete shambles.

And the signs are it's going to get much, much, worse.

– Phil Stoneham, Plymouth Herald sports writer

You can read his full article here.