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La Rochelle announce departure of backs coach amid O'Gara links

The former Ireland out-half could be set for a position on Jono Gibbes’ coaching ticket.

CHALLENGE CUP FINALISTS La Rochelle have today confirmed the departure of their backs coach Xavier Garbajosa, amid reports linking Ronan O’Gara with a position at the French club.

Ex-France international Garbajosa will leave the Top 14 outfit at the end of the season, with O’Gara heavily linked with a role on Jono Gibbes’ coaching staff on a three-year contract.

Jono Gibbes La Rochelle head coach Jono Gibbes. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

O’Gara, who started his coaching career in Paris with Racing 92, is currently in his second season with the Crusaders but his contract with the Super Rugby champions expires this summer.

Garbajosa was under contract with La Rochelle until 2021 but the club announced on Monday that they have terminated his employment ‘by mutual agreement’ from 1 July.

La Rochelle, fourth in the Top 14, were beaten by Clermont in last Friday’s Challenge Cup final at St James’ Park. 

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Head coach Gibbes will ‘communicate on the new organisation of sports staff at the end of the season’, La Rochelle’s statement added.

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Ryan Bailey

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