Brewer is shipped out as Sale continue to struggle

Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy has come out fighting following further coaching upheaval at the struggling Aviva Premiership club.

New Zealander Mike Brewer has left his role as Sharks head coach with immediate effect, his departure being announced just four days before Sale meet league champions Leicester.

Brewer was only appointed earlier this year, replacing ex-England union and league star Jason Robinson as part of a coaching reshuffle at Edgeley Park.

But Sale currently lie 10th in the Premiership with only three wins from nine games and have little chance of progressing in Europe's Amlin Challenge Cup after successive defeats against French side Brive.

Since Sale won the Premiership title in 2006 under Frenchman Philippe Saint-Andre's direction, they have failed to secure a top-four league finish.

Last season they were 11th, ending the campaign a mere four points above relegated Worcester.

"We will now undertake a thorough search to secure the best coaching team and structure for the future," Kennedy said.

"We have a superb crop of young players coming through the academy, a set of established internationals, plus the desire to make a number of key new signings over the next six months."

Former Sale player and current academy coach Pete Anglesea will replace Brewer until the end of this season, assisted by new forwards coach Steve Scott, backs coach Byron Hayward and defence coach Graham Steadman.

Bolton-born Anglesea, 39, made more than 120 appearances for Sale between 1998 and 2006 and is a former club captain.

Brewer, who played for New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final against South Africa, arrived in Cheshire aiming to revive Sale's fortunes.

But he was unable to make an impact, although his job was not made easier by injuries to key players, including Mathew Tait, Charlie Hodgson and James Gaskell, the young forward prospect he appointed captain in August.

Kennedy added: "I am personally very disappointed that this has not worked out, as I have a great deal of respect for Mike, and of course I wish him all the best for the future.

"Pete Anglesea is the obvious choice to lead the team in the short term. He has been part of the club for many years as a player and his coaching record this season with the (Sale) Jets and the LV= Cup squad is exemplary and he has yet to taste defeat."

Sale's squad includes the likes of current England internationals Hodgson, Andrew Sheridan and Mark Cueto, Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel, Samoan international full-back Paul Williams and Fijian No 8 eight Sisa Koyamaibole.

But just three league scalps have been delivered – Newcastle, Harlequins and Leeds Carnegie – since 47-year-old Brewer took charge.