Paul O’Connell is reportedly set to leave his coaching job at Stade Francais after just a single season with the Top 14 club.
However, France-based RMC Sport are reporting that a strained relationship with his boss, South African Heyneke Meyer, will see him prematurely leave his role as forwards coach.
O’Connell had been working in Ireland as an academy level coach at Munster and with the Ireland under-20s before he decided to make the step-up to adult rugby in France.
But the switch has not worked out as intended and he is believed to have already said internally at the club he will not be in Paris next season.
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It has been a difficult campaign this season for Stade. The club suffered a tragic bereavement in December when academy player Nicolas Chauvin passed away following injuries sustained on the pitch, while there was also upheaval in the coaching team with former France scrum-half Julian Dupuy forced out of his job.
The reports that O’Connell will now also leave follow the revelation that his colleague and good friend from Limerick, backs coach Mike Prendergast, has recently met Toulon head coach Patrice Collazo with a view to an end-of-season switch.
Stade Français: Paul O’Connell déjà vers la sortie ! https://t.co/q2FwzAD348
— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) March 21, 2019
Collazo is looking for someone to work alongside current assistant Sébastien Tillous-Borde and Prendergast, who has previously worked at Grenoble and Oyonnax, is being courted to fill the role.
The potential departures of the Irish duo would be at odds with Prendergast’s recent praise for Meyer, the 2015 South Africa World Cup coach.
Insightful read on how difficult 2019 really is for rugby in a grieving France ??? https://t.co/QIgEBXeaQk
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 14, 2019
“There was a couple of changes before Christmas, but we’re working away, keeping the head down and trying to do our best,” he told RugbyPass.
“He’s brilliant, a very passionate coach. He’s a very approachable coach as well, which is great. He wants coaches to express themselves and trusts his coaches in what they are trying to do. He has been great to work with.”
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