REPORT: International referee to quit whistle and coach Montpellier instead
International referee Alexandre Ruiz is to quit refereeing the game to turn his hand to coaching, report Midi Olympique.
Midi report that Ruiz is set to make an unprecedented switch to take up the role of defence coach at Montpellier Herault in the Top 14. The newly minted Challenge Cup champions sit 10th in the Top 14 after an inconsistent domestic campaign. They have conceded 574 points, with a points difference of just minus 20 after 25 rounds, having conceded an average of 22.96 points a game.
The 34-year-old started officiating in 2006 at the age of 19 and rose through the reffing ranks in France at pace. By 2010 he was a referee at ProD2 level before a year later being promoted by the LNR to the Top 14.
His first international match followed in 2014 and has since refereeed a number of Tier 1 matches.
Should he join Philippe Saint-Andre’s side, he will work alongside Olivier Azam, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and Bruce Reihana among others.
The prospect of the yet un-confirmed and very left-field appointment by Saint-Andre, who took over the reins at the club in 2020, has baffled the internet.
“This might be one of the most bizarre stories I’ve seen. Top 14 referee Alexandre Ruiz is retiring from refereeing to become the defence coach of Montpellier. Apparently not an April Fool!.. Even for the wonderful world of French rugby, this is bonkers!”
This might be one of the most bizarre stories I've seen.
Top 14 referee Alexandre Ruiz is retiring from refereeing to become the defence coach of Montpellier?
Apparently not an April Fool! https://t.co/xf3f4z9PNQ
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) May 30, 2021
“Top 14 referee Alexandre Ruiz quitting to join Montpellier as defence coach, Rugbyrama reporting. We’ll find out next season if that’s an inspired signing, I guess.”
#Top14 referee Alexandre Ruiz quitting to join Montpellier as defence coach, Rugbyrama reporting
We'll find out next season if that's an inspired signing, I guess https://t.co/zA7XxetQzB
— James Harrington (@Jamesonrugby) May 30, 2021
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