Rugby corr Hands to leave The Times

David Hands, rugby correspondent at The Times for more than 20 years, is understood to be one of at least three senior sports desk figures to be leaving the paper, as management seeks to cut 40 staff.

Others believed to be leaving include Marcus Williams, a long-time member of the sports desk’s staff, and Julian Muscat the newspaper’s racing reporter who has been at the paper for 17 years.

Hands is a widely admired and respected part of the rugby writing pack, who has always retained an enthusiasm for covering the sport. It is not known who The Times will appoint to replace Hands.

Hands is on holiday and was not available for comment.

More on sports desk job cuts:

PA Sport under scrutiny in cost-cutting drive

At least 70 jobs to go at Times/Sunday Times

Wapping tabloids axe four staff ahead of World Cup

Bierley latest to leave Guardian sports desk

McKenley and Smith to leave Standard sports desk

Rugby writer Roche is latest Sun casualty

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