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Prendergast snapped up by Racing

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Irishman Prendergast the big winner in Racing's coaching reshuffle

Racing 92’s coaching staff will have a continental feel to it next season after boss Laurent Travers confirmed the reshuffle that will take place when his co-coach Laurent Labit moves on to work with the France nations team under Fabien Galthie. 

Travers and Labit had been joined at the hip for more than decade, the pair winning Top 14 championships for Castres and Racing, but their partnership will now cease with Travers ready to embrace a staff with an Irish, Argentine and Kiwi influence. 

Supporting Travers will be four assistants: Mike Prendergast (backs/attack), Patricio Noriega (forwards), Chris Masoe (defence) and Philippe Doussy (skills and footwork).

Travers’ recruitment of Prendergast will be viewed as something of a coup. The former Munster scrum-half has been working at Parisian rivals Stade Francais and had been courted by Toulon, whom he had signed a pre-contract with, as well as being linked with a vacancy at his province in Ireland. 

Prendergast first moved to France from All-Ireland League club level, swopping Young Munster for Grenoble and then working at Oyonnax before switching to Paris last summer.

Stade recently defeated Racing in a gripping derby, a victory that would have helped Prendergast get the nudge on his rival for the job, the Jaguars boss Gonzalo Quesada. England’s Rory Teague had also been linked to the Racing role. 

“I was able to talk with him [Prendergast] for a long time in terms of the system of offensive play in three-quarters. That corresponded to my expectations, just as Gonzalo Quesada also met my expectations. This was played between the two and it is Mike who won.”

Doussy, who has been working with Jacques Brunel’s French national team, will not be going to the World Cup so he will be available for an immediate start, while Travers opted to maintain confidence in Noriega and Masoe rather than seek out replacements. 

In other developments, Dimitri Szarzewski will work with the Racing academy while Casey Laulala, a close friend of Labit, is leaving. 

WATCH: The RugbyPass video from the day Jim Hamilton met Finn Russell in Paris 

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Irishman Prendergast the big winner in Racing's coaching reshuffle