Mike Ruddock has today revealed that he has not applied for the position of Welsh coach and has pledged his immediate future to the Newport Gwent Dragons.
Ruddock was one of the favourites to take over from Steve Hansen who will leave the position at the end of the 6 Nations tournament.
Despite the off-field problems that have dogged The Dragons, the team have exceeded expectations on the field and currently lie third in the Celtic League, second in Pool 1 of the Heineken Cup and are unbeaten at home.
Commenting on his decision Mike said, "I am really enjoying being part of the Dragons and the way the squad has pulled together during our off-field problems has had a big bearing on my decision not to apply for the Welsh coaching position. The Dragons team and coaching staff have put their heads down and got on with the job in hand, doing our talking on the field. The adversity we faced off-field has created a special bond between the Dragons squad and the management team. This bond would be particularly difficult to break at this time.
"I am therefore delighted to remain with The Newport Gwent Dragons for the foreseeable future and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I was naturally honoured to be linked to such a prestigious job as the Coach of the National side and whilst the time is not right for me now it would be something I would consider should the position become available in the future. As part of the new Welsh Regional concept I hereby pledge my wholehearted support for the new Welsh Coach."