Top 14 Orange
Bayonne sack coaching staff
December 6, 2011
Jean-Pierre Elissalde is back at Bayonne © Getty Images
Former Japan coach Jean-Pierre Elissalde has been handed the reins at Bayonne after the Top 14 side axed their coaching trio.
Despite undergoing a huge recruitment drive over the summer which saw the likes of Joe Rokocoko, Neemia Tialata, Cedric Heymans and Mike Phillips arrive, the side have struggled in the Top 14 and currently find themselves in 11th. And following rumours on Monday, the club confirmed on Tuesday that Elissalde has been appointed 'Sports Advisor to the President' with director of rugby Christian Gajan, forwards coach Thomas Lievremont and backs coach Frederic Tauzin all "excused from work".
Elissalde - whose son is Toulouse backs coach Jean-Baptiste - took the reins at Bayonne between 2006 and 2008 after time with La Rochelle, Beziers and the Japanese side. And he will be under pressure to utilise their impressive array of stars as one of the reasons for the trio's departure, according to a statement, was their refusal to use the stars - such as Rokocoko, Tialata and Phillips - they chose to recruit. All three were absent from their starting line up which fell to a 37-18 defeat to Agen at the weekend.
And on Wednesday, Didier Faugeron - the former Stade Francais backs coach - was confirmed as joining the backroom staff and Colomiers head coach Pierre-Henry Broncan will take charge of the forwards for one and a half days a week.
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