Wasps coach Lee Blackett has been linked with a move to Coventry Rugby following rumours the Greene King IPA Championship club has parted company with Nick Walshe.
Cov’s head coach, who played for Harlequins, Saracens and Bath, was not present at the Butts Park Arena for Cov’s thrilling comeback victory over London Scottish which sees them sit fourth in the table after nine rounds.
The following day, The Rugby Paper reported Walshe had been sacked by the Blue and Whites after the previous weekend’s defeat at resurgent Ampthill.
The twice capped England scrum-half joined Coventry in 2016 having steered England U20s to back-to-back Junior World Cup titles as head coach in 2013 and 2014.
It also speculated that his possible successor as head coach under director of rugby Rowland Winter, who is contracted to the club until 2022, could be 37-year-old Blackett.
The former Yorkshire Carnegie and Rotherham Titans back joined Wasps ahead of the 2015/16 season as backs coach. In the summer of 2019, Blackett’s role at Wasps changed to attack and backs coach.
Cov said they will not be commenting on the Walshe/Blackett story run by TRP. Walshe’s profile picture also remains on the club’s ‘management’ section.
Meanwhile Wasps, who have recently seen academy manager Jon Pendlebury join the England Rugby set-up as RFU U18 head coach and head of strength and conditioning Dan Baugh confirm he is heading to Dragons this summer, would not be drawn on the Blackett rumour.
Director of rugby Dai Young, who brought Blackett to the club from Rotherham – where he was the youngest head coach in the top two tiers of English rugby – said he has learned from mistakes made last season, when commenting over player departure rumours and failed attempts to lure big-name coaches such as Shaun Edwards and Steve Borthwick.
He said: “I think we got ourselves into a bit of a knot last season trying to give the supporters and yourselves as much information as possible.
“At this time of year there’s going to be speculation about players coming and going, it’s going to be exactly the same about coaches. I think we decided to straight bat things that are purely speculation, if you answer one question and don’t answer another, people will surmise there’s some truth in it.
“At this moment in terms of players and coaches, anything is purely speculation. If someone is leaving we will announce it, if someone is coming, we will announce it. That’s from the players point of view, and the coaches.”