The Cardiff Blues have announced that Mark Hammett will leave his position as director of rugby with immediate effect, due to family reasons.
The former All Black and Hurricanes coach has been in charge at Cardiff Blues this season.
However, Hammett has now asked to leave his role and return home with his family at the earliest opportunity, citing personal reasons.
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland says they were naturally very disappointed and surprised when Hammett informed them of his decision. However, they fully understand the personal reasons he has given and Hammett has their full support.
Holland says they always felt Hammett was the right man to take them forward, right up until his decision to leave.
Hammett says it was always his intention to bring success to the region over the full length of his contract, however he must put his family first and therefore it is with regret that he's leaving the role.
The current coaching staff at Cardiff Blues will now take charge of senior team matters ahead of this weekend's game with Edinburgh Rugby as the region begins to plan for the future.
The Blues have won only four of 15 matches in the Pro12 since his appointment. Their 40-24 loss to Treviso at the weekend left them 10th on the table.