Scotland will have a new head coach for the RBS 6 Nations opener with England in February after Andy Robinson's resignation.
An angry Robinson warned there would be consequences of Saturday's 21-15 loss to Tonga and on Sunday morning his departure, announced by the Scottish Rugby Union, was the most significant of them. The search for his successor has begun, with senior assistant coach Scott Johnson a contender.
Whether any others with the attributes required - for example, former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett or ex-New Zealand captain Todd Blackadder, who used to coach at Edinburgh and is now with the Crusaders - would risk their reputation for the challenge remains to be seen.
SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said: "A change in head coach is required to take the team forward and build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015."
Robinson, who was under contract until the 2015 tournament, clung to hope for the future following the 2011 World Cup pool stage exit and the 2012 RBS 6 Nations whitewash when his role was questioned.
After the abject showing in Aberdeen, the 48-year-old decided enough was enough and exits with Scotland 12th in the provisional International Rugby Board world rankings after 10 losses in the last 13 Tests.
"I am very disappointed by our recent results but I have belief in the players to develop into a winning team," said Robinson, who was appointed in June 2009 as successor to Frank Hadden.
"I believe I have left the team in a better position than when I took over and have great confidence in the players and the coaches for the future."
In 35 Tests, Robinson oversaw 15 wins and 19 defeats, a win percentage of 42.9%, but his competitive record was woeful.
The World Cup in New Zealand aside, two wins in 15 Six Nations matches meant a remarkable turnaround would have been required for Robinson to survive beyond next spring's tournament.