All Blacks World Cup winner Kieran Crowley will exit PRO14 club Benetton a year earlier than planned, the Italian club has confirmed.
Benetton have lost all nine of their Pro14 games so far this season, with their only victory of the campaign coming against Stade Français in the Challenge Cup.
The former Canada coach, who was part of the New Zealand squad that won the 1987 World Cup, came to Benetton in 2016.
"Crowley's arrival has undoubtedly allowed us to take another step forward for the growth of our club," said club President Amerino Zatta.
"We are grateful to him for the results achieved which have allowed both sides to experience important emotions such as on the occasion of reaching the PRO14 Final Series or being recognized as the best coach of the year. Having said that, it remains a season to be completed knowing that we will all work in the same direction to close it in the best possible way."
"Of course I am disappointed with the club's decision but I respect their choice of wanting to go in a different direction. My wife Sue and I really enjoyed the years spent here in Treviso, it was a great place to live, where we met exceptional people who I want to sincerely thank for all their support. Even though this has been an extremely difficult season, we still have 5 months to go and I along with the rest of the coaches, players and clubs will do our best to reverse our results and end the season in a positive way," concluded Kieran Crowley.
Crowley is not the only one who has confirmed an early exit at the club following yesterday's confimation that former Ireland international Ian Keatley will be released early by the Italian club.