Bleddyn Phillips admitted any coach would have found the prospect of leading London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership daunting, following the axing of Justin Burnell.

The Exiles chairman named defence coach Rowland Phillips as Burnell’s replacement yesterday, with the club 24 points adrift at the bottom of the league table.

Burnell was appointed head coach in June 2013 and led the club into the Aviva Premiership last season.

However, the 47-year-old has been unable to prevent the Exiles from losing all 27 league and cup matches this year.

In January, the Exiles argued their efforts had been hampered by a lack of parity in funding, and claimed they received £2m less than other Premiership clubs.

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Phillips accepted, with that in mind, that being competitive in the Premiership had been a difficult job for Burnell to achieve.

He said: “The harsh reality is that the club has had a mountain to climb, in terms of now well-documented challenges on the financial and structural regime presently in place in Premiership rugby, which any coach or club would, to put it mildly, find daunting.

“We must not forget the tremendous success we achieved last season in winning the Championship, against all odds, under his (Burnell’s) leadership.”

Burnell made 26 signings in the summer in a bid to ensure the club would be competitive.

However, even World Cup winner Piri Weepu and former England fly half Olly Barkley have been unable to prevent the Exiles from suffering a miserable season.

Burnell won 28 of his 62 matches in charge.

His last competitive victory came against Bristol in June – the second leg of the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final.

Meanwhile, the club has quashed rumours they are moving away from Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium.

According to reports, the Exiles have not confirmed their home ground for next season with the Rugby Football Un - ion.

When asked where the club would be playing in 2015–16, spokesman Damian Dolan said: “We will be at the Kassam.”