FORMER Dragons and Wales boss Mike Ruddock has been appointed by the Ospreys in a new role of performance director.

Ruddock, who masterminded Wales' 2005 Six Nations title and Grand Slam-winning campaign, was initially drafted in on a one-month consultancy basis, but he will now remain with the Welsh region until the end of this season.

The 60-year-old from Blaina has completed a review at the Ospreys and will lead all rugby-related matters in his new position.

Carl Hogg and Matt Sherratt will remain in the first-team coaching set-up.

The region, who parted company with head coach Allen Clarke, have lost 13 of their 14 games this season, with their solitary victory coming against Benetton in mid-October in the PRO14.

"It's all about setting up the processes and systems we need to drive the region forward in the future," said Ruddock.

"Part of my role is to support and challenge the coaches and to look at how we strengthen the coaching team for next season.

"We have to replace Matt Sherratt, who leaves at the end of the season (to join Worcester), so we have to look at recruitment and retention for next season. That is on the coaching side and the playing side.

"But it's also about looking at the environment and having real cohesion and an alignment between all the different areas of the rugby operation, with good communication and accountability across the club in general."

As for his report on the Ospreys, Ruddock added: "It's designed to help shape the future of the Ospreys.

"Part of the report outlined the need for more manpower in and around the coaching group. That meant looking at the right coaching model for the Ospreys.

"Going forward, we will consider the model needed in greater detail and the skill-set we require to create an ongoing culture of excellence."

The Ospreys face Saracens in the Champions Cup this weekend after coming agonisingly close to ending their losing streak at Rodney Parade.

Their late implosion against the Dragons summed up how things have gone in the west this season.

'There are so many pretty straightforward things you see, like the number of injuries," said Ruddock about what has gone wrong.

"That probably does mean further investigation into why there has been so many injuries, but this is a collision sport and there is inevitably going to be injuries in professional rugby with the intensity of the game now.

"We have had to sign players on loan due to these injuries and the star-signing at No 10, Gareth Anscombe, has been injured and unavailable all season.

"So along with the budget cuts last season, the international players being unavailable during and post the World Cup, you have the perfect storm of all of those things coming together to create a difficult moment for the Ospreys.

"Having said that, the team has been competitive for the most part with some close defeats like the Dragons last Saturday.

"However, there is still a lot to build on and I have been encouraged with the performances of some of the younger players like Morgan Morris.

"Overall the attitude of the players has been first class during a very difficult period and the coaches are working extremely hard to improve performances."

Ruddock coached Ebbw Vale between 2000 and 2003 before a season at the helm with the Dragons.

They were in with a shot at the title heading into the final round of the Celtic League but ended up third. It remains their finest season.