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Ex-Ulster boss Gibbes to join French side La Rochelle in November

Gibbes previously worked in France with Clermont Auvergne as forwards coach.

Jono Gibbes also had previous spells with Leinster and Clermont Auvergne.
Jono Gibbes also had previous spells with Leinster and Clermont Auvergne.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

FRENCH CLUB LA Rochelle have this morning confirmed that former Ulster boss Jono Gibbes will join the club as sporting director on a four-year contract.

It was announced in early March that Gibbes was departing Ulster at the end of the season, having moved to Belfast from Clermont last summer.

Gibbes cited family reasons for his decision to leave.

“Being a long way from home for the last 10 years has made me prioritise things above my career and so I’ll be returning at the end of this season for family reasons.”

Initially Gibbes had committed to returning to New Zealand to coach Waikato for their 2018 campaign and he will be in charge of them for the Mitre 10 Cup season before moving on and linking up with the Top 14 side in France in November.

In May, Gibbes had refused to rule out a switch to La Rochelle after it emerged he had travelled to France and meet with the club, in the week that Ulster were building up to their Champions Cup play-off against Ospreys.

Before taking the reins at Ulster, Gibbes had been the forwards coach at Leinster for six seasons where he worked with Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt. He then moved to Clermont Auvergne to take on the same role for three campaigns.

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Fintan O'Toole

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