Mike Ruddock insisted last night he was not driven from the job of Wales' rugby head coach by an outbreak of player power.
The abrupt manner of Ruddock's departure, combined with whisperings from inside the camp over recent months, has prompted speculation that he did not leave entirely of his own volition.
But, last night, he said: "Being coach of Wales is more than a job. I think I managed to get six days away last year in terms of holidays, otherwise you're viewing games every weekend. It's a tough job, a big job. I've got a gorgeous family and the thought of going onto the World Cup, with even more time away and going to places like Australia on a summer tour, made me reflect and wonder whether I was prepared to give that commitment for another year-and-a-half."
Ruddock denied any knowledge of a collapse in communication and did not feel he was the victim of player power, despite such strong rumours of a mutiny in the camp.
"I spoke to (captain) Gareth Thomas and (vice-captain) Michael Owen and we all discussed that at length, the fact that people will be jumping to conclusions.
"Everybody is respectful of everyone else right across the board. [Talk of disharmony] is news to me. It's obvious from comments thst Gareth Thomas and Michael Owen have made that the team was very much together right the way through.
"I'm very proud of that fact."