IF Danny Wilson’s appointment was a sticking plaster solution to a problem Glasgow Warriors had filling their head coach vacancy in the summer of 2020, then that arrangement reached an appropriate conclusion yesterday afternoon with the quick rip-away approach being adopted so as to make the process as painless as possible.

The Englishman was “stood down” just two days after his team had slumped to a humiliating 76-14 defeat against Leinster in Dublin, meaning ejection from the United Rugby Championship at the first play-off stage, thus bringing the curtain down on a season which had started positively enough with the club situated in the top four of the URC table through to mid-April before things unravelled dramatically, with the Scotstoun men plummeting to eighth in the league and dropping out of the Challenge Cup during a five-match losing streak.

Not only did the slide down the league leave Warriors with that devilishly difficult – almost impossible – play-off assignment in Dublin at the weekend, it also meant they missed out on qualification to next season’s European Champions Cup.

At a time when the top nations are jockeying to be well positioned ahead of an expected shake-up of the global professional season, Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson could ill afford to have an underperforming Warriors side undermining his negotiating position.

Furthermore, in a World Cup year, the national cause needs key players such as George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Matt Fagerson, maybe Jack Dempsey, Ali Price and Sam Johnson thriving in a positive club rugby environment.

Perhaps most pressing of all, there was growing frustration amongst supporters with the general direction of travel the club has followed since those heady days when Warriors regularly reached semi-finals and finals of their league competition, and even won the thing under Gregor Townsend in 2015.

There has been a backlash in recent weeks against a hike in season ticket prices next season, with fans arguing that they are being asked to pay more for an inferior product, and once the bottom line was under threat, Wilson’s days were numbered.

“I’d like to thank Danny for his contribution to rugby in Scotland over the past four years,” said Dodson. “He faced a challenging period taking on the Glasgow role mid-pandemic and while there have been several high points ultimately recent results have not been consistent enough and given the importance of our two professional teams, we needed to address that in a timely manner.

“I have a lot of respect for Danny and the professional way he conducts himself and wish him well in the future.”

The search for a replacement has already begun and finding the right person is going to be trickier than usual given it is a World Cup year. Professional and international rugby now tends to operate in four-year cycles so most coaches currently in work will be under contract and hesitant about pushing for a move until after France 2023.

It could well be that a one-year interim appointment is made internally. The last two pro coach appointments [Wilson and Mike Blair at Edinburgh] came straight from the national coaching set up, but that was at a different stage in the World Cup cycle and it won't happen immediately this time.

Promoting from within the Warriors camp could be an option, although those individuals presumably carry some of the same baggage which led to Wilson's demise. If this option is followed then attack coach Nigel Carolan appears to be the most likely choice, ahead of the less experienced Pete Murchie.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder could step into the breach, as his predecessor Scott Johnson did with Scotland back in 2012, but he surely has enough on his plate dealing with his current day job as he is in the midst of restructuring the Performance Rugby Department at Murrayfield.

“Danny has worked with and developed a significant number of players in the Scotland set-up over the past four years and I’d like to thank him for all his hard work and commitment across Scotland and Glasgow Warriors," said Mallinder.

“There is no doubt the team faced a difficult run in to the end of the URC competition but as we move into a world cup season it is vital we put ourselves in the best possible position to compete consistently on the professional and international stage.

“I want to wish Danny all the very best in his next role in rugby.”

Regardless of the question of whether it was the right time for Wilson to go, this was a sad day for a good man, who achieved positive things for the club. During his tenure, Dempsey, Josh McKay and Sione Tuipulotu all arrived and showed that they can be key men for the club for years to come, while youngsters such as Ross Thompson, Rory Darge and Ollie Smith established themselves in the team.

Ultimately, however, he couldn't turn the tide when things started going wrong during the last few months, and rugby is a momentum sport.