Cash-strapped Fiji sack coach
Cash-strapped Fiji sack coachSHARE
The cash-strapped Fiji Rugby Union sacked coach Inoke Male in a money-saving move less than a month before it starts its defence of the Pacific Cup.
Male was one of five staff dismissed in a restructuring that follows a damning International Rugby Board review which included the suspension of financial aid.
"Included in these terminations is the position of [the] national 15-a-side coach which will be advertised locally and internationally," an FRU statement said, without naming who had been axed.
A disappointed Male, who was appointed head coach in January 2012, had no warning his job was in jeopardy.
"My termination is out of my power. That is something the FRU board has decided," he said.
"I would have loved to have taken the team to the Pacific Rugby Cup, the World Cup qualifier against the Cook Islands and the Test matches in Europe in November."
Fiji is due to defend the Pacific Rugby Cup in a tournament starting in Australia in late February and also involving Tonga, Samoa, an Argentine XV and development teams from Australian Super Rugby sides.
The IRB announced earlier this month it had axed all direct financial support to Fiji because the FRU had not implemented measures to address "significant concerns regarding the administration and governance of the union".
The IRB said it committed £1.1 million in direct funding to Fiji last year as well as significant additional financial assistance to participate in international tournaments.
But it was concerned the financial position of the union was "unsustainable and could create instability and impact on the management of the union and key IRB-funded development and high performance programmes".
The FRU statement did not say how much it expected to save from the dismissals.