One more Brit at the MHR. After third-line Sam Simmonds, hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and pillar Harry Williams who have all already signed up, the Hérault club will welcome another Englishman next season. Not within its workforce but in its management.
As revealed in recent weeks by L’Equipe, Richard Cockerill was in advanced contact with the current champion of France to take up the position of forwards coach next season. His profile corresponds perfectly to that sought by Philippe Saint-André, namely an experienced technician and a strong character.
Still in the staff of the XV de la Rose
Passed by Leicester, Toulon and Edinburgh, he also has the advantage of speaking French and having already worked in the Top 14, at the RCT, first in January 2017 to support his compatriot Mike Ford, before taking the reins of the management a few months later and to take the Var club to the final of the Top 14 (defeat against Clermont). According to our information, the former international hooker (52 years old, 27 caps from 1997 to 1999) has given his verbal agreement to Montpellier.
Former assistant to Eddie Jones in the English selection, Cockerill has retained his duties to take care of the scrum, under the orders of new coach Steve Borthwick, appointed on December 19. Cockerill should also meet with its leaders in the coming weeks, probably after the first two matches of the Six Nations Tournament.
Other profiles had also been studied in recent weeks on the Montpellier side, in particular that of Jono Gibbes after his ousting from Clermont on January 16, but from the start, the MHR had made the Englishman its priority to succeed Joan Caudullo. This took the lead last November after the departure of Olivier Azam. But he will return to his position as director of the academy next season.
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