Trio to part company with Wasps
April 26, 2011
Leon Holden will step down from his position as interim director of rugby at Wasps this summer © Getty Images
London Wasps have announced that interim director of rugby Leon Holden, centre Ben Jacobs and flanker Serge Betsen will all be leaving the club at the end of the season.
After a previous four-year stint at Adams Park between 2005 and 2009, Holden returned to the club in February following the departure of Tony Hanks. However, he has now agreed to join Japanese outfit Ricoh BlackRams as their new head coach.
"I have enjoyed my time in recent months with Wasps again, despite some tough results, but the opportunity to go to Japan, where I have coached before, for a season was too good to turn down," Holden said. "It will allow me to that bit nearer home and with a young family, it will be a change of lifestyle that I believe we will enjoy.
"I will continue to help Wasps implement new structures for next seasons as well as contribute to the recruitment drive for next season in my remaining time here. Wasps will always have a place in my heart and I want to thank the fans in particular for welcoming me back this year."
Jacobs, who has been a regular in the Wasps midfield this season, is also bound for Japan, having put pen to paper on a deal with the Kyuden Voltex.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my two seasons at Wasps and having been in London for a number of years now, I am ready for a different challenge," he said. "I want to take this opportunity to say a big thanks to everyone at the club, the coaches, all the staff and the supporters, for everything they have done for me and I wish the club all the best in the future."
Meanwhile, former France international Betsen has yet to decide where his future lies and is currently evaluating all of his options.
"It was a big challenge for me and my family to move to England but I have really enjoyed my time at Wasps and I will be sad to leave," Betsen said. "However, I am excited about the next challenges the sport will bring me.
"Thanks to all at the club for making a Frenchman feel so welcome! Wasps is a club with an exciting future and I think with some of the young players coming through there is a lot for them to look forward to."
The news that Holden is departing means that Wasps will now have to step up the search for a full-time replacement for Hanks.
"Leon has done a very good job in a very short time frame and has played a key role in recruitment for next season which is ongoing and we are hugely grateful for his input and advice about what shape the squad should take going forward," Wasps chief executive Chris Thomas said.
"We are continuing the process of putting in place a Director of Rugby for next season. This is a key appointment for us so we are not going to rush it but we are confident we will have a quality candidate in place for the start of next season.
"It's always sad to say goodbye to quality players like Serge and Ben but with some young exciting backs and backrow players coming through, we think we are well served in these areas. Our recruitment for next season continues and we think we are putting together a strong squad with a good balance of hardened experience and young talent."
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