It seems there is increasing uncertainty around the future of another Top 14 club’s coaching team. After speculation surrounding Tana Umaga’s position as Toulon coach last week, it now appears that Biarritz are preparing to make a change to their coaching setup as former Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has been linked with a role at the club.
After he resigned from his position as Ireland coach because of a poor Six Nations campaign, it is thought he wants to get back into rugby as quick as possible. Some Irish newspapers are even reporting that O’Sullivan was spotted in Biarritz last week where he was set to have discussions with the club’s millionaire owner Marcel Martin.
So, what is the current situation at Biarritz? Well, considering they have won the Top 14 in 2002, 2005 and 2006 – last year was a disaster. They finished 6th and it was their worst campaign for many years. Unsurprisingly their coach at the time, Patrice Lagisquet, was shown the door and this season was seen as a great opportunity to start afresh. There were a lot of outgoings and although the rugby odds didn’t fancy them to challenge, there was a great deal of optimism within the club.
However, things haven’t gone to plan. Despite winning all three of their home games, there have been an equal amount of abysmal displays on the road. Most recently they collapsed to a dismal 32-6 defeat at Clermont to leave them in 9th. Considering they have one of the biggest budgets within French Rugby, the bosses at Biarritz certainly expected more.
I personally can’t blame them. The new coaching team of Jacques Delmas and Jack Isaac don’t have enough respect from the players in my opinion and it can’t be denied that their away form is extremely worrying. You won’t get anywhere in rugby if you can’t win away from home – perhaps a change is needed to steady the ship.
Whether Eddie O’Sullivan is the man to come in remains to be seen though as everything is far from confirmed. The current coaching team are thought to have been handed a three game ultimatum by the club and considering that two of these games are at home, they might fancy their chances of doing enough to keep themselves in a job.
However, should the unbeaten home record go against Montpellier this weekend and I think many rugby bets will be placed on someone like O’Sullivan coming in to salvage the season.