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Jackman open to 'another crack' at coaching following Dragons departure

The ex-Ireland hooker parted company with the Welsh outfit last month.

Former Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman.
Former Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

BERNARD JACKMAN IS open to getting “another crack” at coaching roles after his recent departure from the Dragons. 

The former Irish hooker parted company with the Welsh outfit last month despite signing a three-year deal in June 2017. 

The Newport-based club were second from bottom in the Pro14 Conference B when Jackman left, after three wins and seven defeats. 

But the 42-year-old says he hasn’t been discouraged from continuing his coaching career elsewhere, although he had slight regrets over not bringing in a mentor to guide him.

“I would like to get another crack at it. I’m definitely a better coach now than I was last year,” he told 2fm’s Game On last night.

“I’m very young for a head coach but I’ve already amassed great experience in two different countries. We’ll wait and see what happens over the next few months. If a good opportunity comes up, we’ll look at it, and if not well I’ll go down a different route.

“Because I got a head coach role so quickly, I perhaps missed out on the opportunity to have a mentor or a figure to guide me through.

“I see Mike Prendergast and Paul O’Connell working with Stade Francais under Heyneke Meyer for example, the lads [Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones] that got to work with Rassie [Erasmus] at Munster .

“As an assistant coach, you just worry about a certain area of the game. That’s what I started off doing in Grenoble. If it was the right club, and there was the opportunity to be an assistant to a good head coach, we’d definitely look at it.”

But Jackman has no regrets over his spell in Wales and feels he left the club in a better place than he found it.

“It was a build project and it is still in a rebuild phase, but it is in a much better place than when I got it.

“I’m confident the right structures are in place. We didn’t get the results quickly enough and as head coach you have to take responsibility for that.

“We looked to keep the best people in the Dragons, which we did and bring in the best coaches, which we did. When players haven’t had access to a quality backroom team ever, it does take time. I’m confident the right structures are in place.

“I like to think I have a growth mindset. If you look back and say, ‘I wish I had more time’, it will affect your ability to learn from the next challenge.

“In any job in rugby, you don’t know how long you will be there. I have no regrets. Obviously there is frustration around the results, but you have to work hard and be patient.

“The big thing for me was I could see development in the players from day-to-day.”

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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