Updated: Monday, 09 Dec 2013 18:49 | Comments
Former Leinster and Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman is to take over as head coach of Grenoble next season.
The 37-year-old will take over as head coach ahead of the beginning of the 2014-15 term. Fabrice Landreau, who is currently both head coach and Director of Sport at Grenoble, will continue solely in the latter role.
Jackman, a Heineken Cup winner with Leinster, has worked on defence with Grenoble since the 2011 season, the same year the club returned to the Top 14 by finishing top of D2. This year, he has worked as defence and collisions coach for the south-eastern club, who are currently seventh in the Top 14.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport’s Rugby Show podcast, he said: “It was finalised with the club today that I will sign up for another year with Grenoble and take up the head coach position, which is obviously very exciting.”
Grenoble have been one of the major success stories of French rugby in recent seasons.
“It’s a city that is fanatical about rugby and we are looking to build something special here – Bernard Jackman
Jackman added: “I am really looking forward to it and hope to continue this adventure we are having here at the moment. It’s a city that is fanatical about rugby and we are looking to build something special here. I’m looking forward to expanding my role and hopefully becoming a better coach.”
The club does not plan to stand still, with continued improvement on the agenda, and they have been linked with several foreign stars, including Munster centre Casey Lauala, though their interest is in non-Irish qualified players.
Jackman added: “The club had a plan and for the first few years it was to make sure we stayed in the top Top 14. The goal next year is to invest in our squad. It is very hard to get very top class outside-centres. He is out of contract next year.
“I’m sure Munster want to keep him. Castres have also been linked with him, along with other French clubs. We see ourselves as being in that market and if we can attract a player like him, it would be a massive statement for us.
“He has not signed anything yet but as much as I’d hate to do Munster a bad turn, I’d love to have him here.”