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Jono Gibbes will NOT accept job as La Rochelle coach



Jono Gibbes

Jono Gibbes

Matt Mackey / PressEye.com / INP

Jono Gibbes

Talks between Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes and La Rochelle did take place yesterday but the departing Kiwi will not be taking a job in France, the Belfast Telegraph understands.

Gibbes, who arrived last summer, announced back in March that he'd be leaving at the end of the season to deal with a family matter in New Zealand and already has a deal with Waikato.

However, it was reported on Wednesday night that he was in the frame for the vacant La Rochelle job and was to be interviewed yesterday.

With Ulster hosting Ospreys in a do-or-die Champions Cup play-off on Sunday, the timing of the confusion could hardly have been worse but it is understood that Gibbes took the meeting as something of a courtesy and still fully intends to return home in the coming weeks.

Gibbes took the job as Ulster head coach following Les Kiss' departure at the end of January. However, the 41-year-old soon announced that he would return to his native New Zealand this summer to be closer to an undisclosed family situation.

It was then confirmed that he would take up a coaching role with Waikato before this week's rumours had seemed to plunge all of that into doubt.

Dan McFarland, of course, has been named as Ulster's next head coach.

Gibbes names his last Ulster side this afternoon with captain Rory Best seeming set to miss out.

Belfast Telegraph