In a surprising turn of events, former England assistant Richard Cockerill has been relieved of his duties at Montpellier, a mere seven games into the Top 14 season.
Join the RUCK’s WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.
Cockerill, who was appointed as forwards coach by Eddie Jones, had previously decided not to extend his tenure at the Test level under Steve Borthwick.
Last spring, he had announced his intention to conclude his role at the end of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations and transition to a sports manager position with the 2022 French league champions.
Despite a promising start to the Cockerill era on August 20, marked by a home victory over the back-to-back European champions La Rochelle, the team faced a challenging phase with six consecutive defeats.
This string of losses prompted decisive action from Montpellier’s management, led by Altrad, resulting in Cockerill’s dismissal.
Cockerill said when he was appointed in a statement: “Having coached and played in France previously, my family and I always had aspirations to return. This opportunity presented itself some time ago and it was too hard to turn down personally and professionally.
“It is disappointing not to work with Steve and the wider team beyond the Six Nations. I had hoped to be able to stay for the Rugby World Cup, but the timings weren’t meant to be.”
Get your tickets to the 2024 Six Nations matches at viagogo, the world’s leading ticket marketplace.
Telegraph Top 30 male players in the UK:
30 Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Ireland)
29 Jac Morgan (Ospreys/Wales)
28 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol/England)
27 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland)
26 Henry Slade (Exeter/England)
25 Tommy Reffell (Leicester/Wales)
24 Theo McFarland (Saracens/Samoa)
23 Jasper Wiese (Leicester/South Africa)
22 Henry Arundell (London Irish/England)
21 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh/Scotland)