Montpellier Herault Rugby have parted ways with head coach Xavier Garbajosa and appointed former French head coach Philippe Saint André as his successor.
Despite one of the biggest budgets in French rugby, Montpellier are currently residing in a lowly 13th place in the Top 14, leading to the sacking of the former French international. Now Saint André, who coached Sale Sharks to a Premiership win in 2006 and was head coach of France between 2012 and 2016, takes over as Director of Rugby.
A 9 – 16 home loss to Toulouse in the GGL Stadium in Montpellier appears to have been the final nail in Garbajosa’s figurative coffin.
A statement from the club reads: “After a detailed analysis of our sporting situation, Montpellier Hérault Rugby and Xavier Garbajosa have decided to end their collaboration.
“We would like to thank Xavier Garbajosa for everything he has brought to the club. Xavier has put a lot of energy and passion into his work. In particular, he worked to structure our training center and made it possible to integrate our young people into the professional workforce. He also helped to support and reveal our internationals. There will therefore remain a “Garbajosa” imprint within the MHR and we would like to thank him warmly for all his actions.
“We also wish him the best for the future.
“The MHR is being restructured from this day with Philippe Saint André who takes over the management of the professional team in support of the current staff and more particularly of the 2 coaches: Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and Olivier Azam.”
Montpellier have one of the most stacked squads in professional rugby, with the likes of Handre Pollard, Johannes Goosen and Alex Lozowski to pick from in the flyhalf selection pot alone. Thanks largely to the deep pockets of billionaire owner Mohed Altrad, the rest of the squad boasts a host of French internationals, Springboks and Wallabies among their ranks.
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