Hanks sacked by Sale after embarrassing Saracens defeat
12:01 GMT, 24 March 2012
Sale have announced that first-team coach Tony Hanks has left the Aviva Premiership club with immediate effect.
The decision comes in the wake of Sale's 45-9 Premiership defeat by reigning champions Saracens on Friday night.
Sale chief executive Steve Diamond said in a statement: 'It has been a season of great change at Sale Sharks and I would like to thank Tony for his help in implementing that change.
End of the road: Hanks has left the club with immediate effect
'The owners, directors, players and supporters all wish Tony well in the future. In the meantime our work continues.'
Hanks was formerly director of rugby at London Wasps and joined Sale in July 2011 with responsibility for the side's attack, game plan and defence.
He leaves with the club lying seventh in the Premiership standings and still with a chance of qualifying for next season's Heineken Cup.
Defeat: Sale were soundly beaten by Saracens on Friday night
However, the cracks have been showing in recent weeks, with last night's mauling at the hands of Saracens the third game in a row in which the Sharks conceded more than 30 points.
Diamond was scathing in his assessment of his side's capitulation at Edgeley Park, and hinted post-match that changes were likely to be made.
'Defensively we were a shambles,' he said. 'We've got to look at ourselves really, look at what we're doing behind the scenes as a coaching team and make sure what we are doing transpires.
'There will be changes afoot all over the show.'
Sale are next in action at Newcastle on Friday night.