Former French XV Coach Bernard Laporte Returns to Montpellier as Director of Rugby
By David Reyrat
Published yesterday at 11:27 p.m., Update 4 hours ago
The Montpellier Hérault Rugby (MHR) team, currently at the bottom of the Top 14 standings after a defeat in Perpignan, has appointed Bernard Laporte as their new Director of Rugby. Laporte will succeed Philippe Saint-André in this role.
The MHR’s recent loss in Perpignan, making it their sixth consecutive defeat in the Top 14, led to the decision to replace Saint-André. The President of the MHR, in an interview with the JDD, announced the appointment of Bernard Laporte, a move that is expected to generate controversy and attention.
Laporte and Saint-André were both involved in a joint trial, where they received suspended prison sentences and fines for various charges, including corruption. Laporte’s return to MHR raises questions due to his close association with Mohed Altrad, who was also implicated in the trial.
Mohed Altrad, when asked about Laporte’s appointment, stated that Laporte had contacted the High Authority for the Transparency of Political Life (HATVP) and that, given the ongoing legal proceedings, the club was able to hire Laporte for his expertise in the sporting aspect. However, ethical concerns remain.
“When one of the best French managers is available, it is a unique sporting opportunity.” – Mohed Altrad
Altrad, the owner of the MHR, explained that Laporte has been given a specific mission to exclusively oversee and coordinate the sporting aspects of the club. Laporte’s role will be to improve the team’s performance and bring cohesion to the team through his leadership and expertise.
Altrad further justified his decision by stating that the team lacked a sense of unity and spirit, qualities that Laporte possesses. He believes Laporte’s winning mentality and team spirit will be instrumental in revitalizing the team. Altrad sees Laporte’s availability as a rare opportunity that the club couldn’t pass up.
England Manager Richard Cockerill Under Pressure
While Laporte will not be directly involved on the field, the current sports manager, Richard Cockerill, is facing increasing scrutiny. The team’s poor performance, with only one victory and six defeats, has put Cockerill’s position in jeopardy as the team currently sits at the bottom of the Top 14 rankings.