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French reports say ex-Ireland coach O'Sullivan is close to Biarritz exit

It’s believed the Irishman did not travel with the squad for this evening’s Pro D2 fixture.

EDDIE O’SULLIVAN’S TIME at Biarritz is close to an end, according to reports in the French media.

L’Équipe and Midi Olympique both say O’Sullivan and assistant coach Pierre Chadebech did not travel with the squad for Biarritz’s Pro D2 meeting with Aix-en-Provence this evening.

New Biarritz head coach Eddie O'Sullivan O'Sullivan took over at Biarritz in 2014. Source: ©INPHO

The move is believed to be on the orders of club president Nicolas Brusque, following three defeats in Biarritz’s opening three games of the league season.

Word of unrest within the club has been filtering out since before the Pro D2 campaign even began, with Biarritz players said to be unhappy with Chadebech’s coaching of the backs in particular.

The42 understands that O’Sullivan made a move to be freed from his contract in Biarritz during the summer, after a 2014/15 season that saw the club miss out on the top six – and therefore the promotion play-offs – in the Pro D2, despite their relatively large budget.

O’Sullivan originally signed a two-year deal with the former Top 14 champions but with a switch of presidency from the legendary Serge Blanco to Nicolas Brusque – the 39-year-old former France international fullback – the last 12 months has been a time of change for BO.

Their high expectations remain and the poor start to the season, which has included home defeats to Albi and Jeremy Davidson’s Aurillac, has added to the sense that Biarritz continue to move in the wrong direction.

Eddie O'Sullivan O'Sullivan's most recent coaching involvement in Ireland was with Garryowen. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Heineken Cup finalists in 2006 and 2010, Biarritz have faded away as a force in French rugby as the financial might of clubs like Clermont, Toulon and Stade Français has grown.

That said, their provisional budget for this 2015/16 campaign was the third highest in the Pro D2 at €10.7 million, behind only Bayonne’s €11.3m and Lyon’s €19.6m.

With O’Sullivan and Chadebech apparently left at home, forwards coach Benoît August is reported to be in charge of the squad for this evening’s clash with Aix-en-Provence, and it is thought the once-capped former France hooker will assume a caretaker position if O’Sullivan does leave his role as head coach.

Biarritz have made no public comment on the status of their coaching team.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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