After 22 years of loyal service Rod Ruddick is leaving Saints for one last challenge - at Portsmouth.

The 64-year-old Bath satellite academy manager was considering retirement at the end of the season but has been persuaded to work as a scout by Pompey's new head of youth development, Paul Hart.

Ruddick has been responsible for helping to produce the likes of Jason Dodd, Gareth Bale and Nathan Dyer over the years but has decided the offer from Portsmouth was the right one at this stage of his career.

He will be responsible for scouting young players from 13-18 in the south-west, mid-Wales and in Europe as the Fratton Park club try to establish their newly founded academy.

He said: "The timing is right. I'm 64 and I'd have probably relinquished my role as Bath academy manager next April but Portsmouth offered me three years in a scouting role.

"It is sad to go when I look back at all the good players I have worked with and some great people as well.

"It's a good club."

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