French powerhouse Clermont sacks former All Black Gibbes

French powerhouse Clermont sacks former All Black Gibbes

French rugby powerhouse Clermont sacked head coach Jono Gibbes on Monday, and the humiliating 44-29 home defeat in the Champions League to Leicester Tigers was the last straw.

The 45-year-old former New Zealand defender leaves after less than two years in charge, with the two-time French champions languishing in tenth place in the Top 14 and facing an uphill battle to qualify for the round of 16. Champions League final. Cup.

“Due to recurring issues regarding style of play and position in both the top 14 table and the Champions League, the chairman has decided to relieve Jono Gibbes of his responsibilities,” the club said.

The players had been summoned in the early morning to receive the news, hours before they flew to South Africa for this weekend’s Champions Cup clash with the Stormers.

The three-time European Cup runners-up said defense coach Jared Payne, who made 20 appearances for Ireland, would replace Gibbes on an interim basis for the trip to Cape Town.

Clermont’s only win in their last five games has come at the home of the South African team, but the French side need to win to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.

According to L’Equipe newspaper, former Bordeaux-Begles manager Christophe Urios is being appointed as Gibbes’ long-term replacement.

The combative 57-year-old was sacked by Bordeaux-Begles last November.

Gibbes, who had spoken of his embarrassment at being beaten by Leicester, has had to deal with a turbulent time at Clermont, especially with the departure at the end of last season of the club’s greats, scrum-half Morgan Parra and fly half. Camille Lopez.

Although both players are nearing the end of their stellar careers (Parra is 34 and López 33), the loss of Clermont’s star player, French winger Damian Penaud, who will join Bordeaux-Begles at the end of the season, will affect them. Lasted.

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