Nat Saumi to leave Albion at end of campaign
Plymouth Albion will look to appoint a fourth director of rugby in the space of 18 months, after announcing that Nat Saumi will be leaving the Championship club at the end of this season.
Saumi's contract ends this summer and he has decided to move on after spending a decade at Albion, first as a player and then as a coach.
The announcement that the Fijian will be leaving comes in the wake of Plymouth's 19-15 home defeat to second-from-bottom Jersey on Saturday. That was Albion's ninth successive Championship reverse, breaking the previous club record for consecutive losses set in 1997-98.
Saumi unexpectedly found himself in the Albion hot-seat at the start of January 2012 following the sudden departure of Peter Drewett, who walked out on the club for financial reasons just six weeks after taking over from long-serving Graham Dawe.
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After steering the hard-up club to Championship safety, Saumi was rewarded with a new contract to become Albion's director of rugby and head coach for the 2012-13 campaign.
This season started impressively as Albion won four of their opening five matches, but they have since won just one more league game.
Speculation about Saumi's future has been rife in recent weeks after club chairman Graham Stirling revealed that the club had reviewed his position following Albion's defeat to Moseley in January.
Albion have insisted that it is Saumi's decision to move on and have praised his dedication and loyalty to the club. Debbie Fisher, the club's acting chief executive, said: "The club are especially grateful to Nat for his loyal and dedicated support through what was an extremely challenging time."