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As Lagisquet exits Portugal a 2-man shortlist emerges

Portugal Head Coach Patrice Lagisquet looks on during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Australia and Portugal at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on October 01, 2023 in Saint-Etienne, France. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Esteban Meneses and Simon Mannix are in the race for Portugal’s head coach vacancy, with the decision to be made in the upcoming weeks.

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Fifty-two-year-old New Zealander Simon Mannix is currently coaching the French ProD2 side, Biarritz, after spells in Section Paloise, Singapore, and RC Bassin D’Arcachon, and he is seen as a credible choice due to his knowledge of France’s elite competitions, a central player pool for the present and future of the Lobos setup.

Esteban Meneses has been working for the past three months with the Portuguese Rugby Union, having joined it alongside Rodolfo Ambrósio and Daniel Hourcade as members of the staff, helping interim coach João Mirra in the Men’s Rugby Europe Championship 2024. His expertise as a national head coach and profound knowledge of the Emerging Nation environment are viewed as ideal to take on the job, but the process is far from being concluded.

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Richard Cockerill on facing RWC darlings Portugal

Richard Cockerill on the dangers of facing the attacking threats of Portugal

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Richard Cockerill on facing RWC darlings Portugal

Richard Cockerill on the dangers of facing the attacking threats of Portugal

More rumours about Patrice Lagisquet’s exit have been doing the rounds, but one thing is clear: the legendary Les Bleus player won’t be available to guide Portugal through another World Cup qualification.

Portugal Rugby Union president Carlos Amado da Silva revealed in a recent interview to Radio Alfa that “There were two and now three possible names to take the head coach job. They aren’t French, but they are based there and have deep knowledge about the Top14, ProD2, and the other French competitions.”

Portugal has been without a head coach since last October when Sébastien Bertrank resigned just two weeks after signing with the Lobos. With challenging Summer and Autumn windows on the horizon – the Springboks and Namibia in July, and Scotland, USA, and Samoa in November – the board will announce in the upcoming weeks who’s going to take Patrice Lagisquet’s mantle and guide the team in the race to earn a spot in the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

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1 Comment
M
Mzilikazi 89 days ago

Simon Mannix I met a few years ago when he was with Pau. He did pretty well there with a club that often struggles. He played once for the AB’s, at 10, and the game was lost to the French. He said that loss still haunts him.

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