SHANNON HAVE TAKEN the decision to install a new head coach at the midway point of what has been a disappointing season for the Limerick club.
In a statement released this morning, the club announced that Marcus Horan will be replaced in the role by Tom Hayes with immediate effect.
Assisted by backs coach Ian Sherwin who will also be moving on, Horan spent a year-and-a-half in the job after being appointed ahead of the 2015-16 season.
The former Munster and Ireland prop, who won four All-Ireland League titles with Shannon as a player, guided the club to a sixth-place finish in Division 1B in his first season in charge.
Shannon have struggled this season, however, winning just one of their nine games which has left them at the bottom of the table.
“Following a mid-term review by the Rugby Committee at Shannon RFC, it was decided that Tom Hayes would assume the role of head coach with immediate effect,” the statement read.
“The club wishes to thank both of our outgoing coaches, Marcus Horan and Ian Sherwin, for their huge contribution to Shannon RFC and wish them every success in the future. The club will be making no further comment regarding this issue.”
Hayes — another former Shannon player and the younger brother of legendary Ireland prop John — made nine appearances for Munster but he enjoyed significant success when he moved to England in 2005; first with Plymouth Albion and then at Exeter Chiefs.
The 36-year-old former lock, who was forced into retirement in 2013 due to a back injury, made 136 appearances for Exeter. He captained the club for most of his time at Sandy Park and was the skipper on the Premiership’s team of the season in 2011.
Hayes joined the Shannon coaching team as lineout/defence coach at the beginning of this season.