Tito, the former New Zealand Maori and Hurricanes player, has been an assistant coach at Pau but has now been given the chance to step up into one of the main coaching roles and the 41-year-old is relishing he challenge. Pau have reshuffled their coaches after dismissing Hayman and Simon Mannix as they finished a disappointing 11th in the table.
Hayman, who played 45 tests between 2001 and 2007, was involved in a bust-up with unnamed Pau players earlier this year and was relieved of his forward duties.
Then in May, Hayman, who played for Newcastle and Toulon, admitted to alcohol problems as he was handed a four-month suspended prison sentence for domestic violence in France. As well as physical violence Hayman was charged with psychological damage, nuisance calls and insults.
Tito will join former All Black Conrad Smith, who is defence coach, and former New Zealand players Daniel Ramsey, Tom Taylor, Benson Stanley and Colin Slade who are also at Pau with current All Blacks Ben Smith and Luke Whitelock joining the squad after the Rugby World Cup.
Tito told Suff.co.nz: “I’ve been offered a permanent position after going through a trial period with the club during the last season. I’m also able to take my family back with me to live in a great part of the world. It’s a bit different over there, there’s a much longer season with 46 weeks compared to the 12 weeks we would have with the Mitre 10 championship season.
“I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty and growing as a coach. The game is a bit slower over there, they’ve got some big physical players and the lineout drive plays a big part of their game. Pau does not have the biggest forward pack and likes to play an open style. It’s how we can successfully balance it all will be the key to how we get the best out of the team.”
Tito will be operating under new guidelines aimed at increasing the number of French players in the match day squad next season with 16 required in the 23. “The French players are critical to the squad and are being developed from their academy system,” he said. “Every side in the Top 14 now must have French players who have come up from the academy.
“As a result it is harder foreign players to get work. It’s also a juggling act for us as coaches to select the best team on the day.”
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