Racing 92 backs coach Laurent Labit looks set to leave the French Top 14 club. The expectation is that he will become attack coach with the French national side.
The move should become official this week when officials name Fabien Galthié as head coach with effect from November.
Labit’s anticipated departure has sparked moves by Racing to find a replacement. Heading the list of candidates is Gonzalo Quesada. He is currently working in his native Argentina with the Super Rugby outfit Jaguares.
Quesada has experience of French rugby, having been with Stade Francais and Biarritz before taking up his current role. He would fit easily into the Parisian environment, where he would work with Laurent Travers – the current co-coach with Labit.
According to Midi Olympique, the club is looking to buy Quesada out of the final year of his contract. Should he accept the offer at Racing, it will end speculation of a return to the club for Ronan O’Gara.
However, the Irishman’s name is circulating in connection with a job elsewhere in France. Xavier Garbajosa is expected to leave La Rochelle to join Montpellier, where he will work with Vern Cotter. His departure would create a vacancy that should prove attractive.
O’Gara is in pole position to take the job. The Irishman would work alongside Jonno Gibbes who is coming to the end of his first season at the helm.
Another name in the frame for the La Rochelle position is that of Brock James. The 36 year old will hang up his boots in the summer after a season at Bordeaux-Begles.
Written by Colin Renton