Former France coach Saint-Andre takes over at Montpellier


Montpellier (France) (AFP)

Former France coach Philippe Saint-Andre will take over from Vern Cotter as director of rugby at Montpellier, the French Top 14 team announced on Tuesday.

"Next month, (Philippe) Saint-Andre is going to arrive," club president Mohed Altrad said in a video clip published by local weekly L'Agglorieuse.

The 52-year-old, who was preferred to former Australia coach Michael Cheika, will take over from Cotter who is returning home to New Zealand after three years in the post.

Saint-Andre, who played 69 times for France principally as a wing, has not held a high level post in rugby since stepping down as France coach after the 2015 World Cup which ended in an ignominious 62-13 thrashing by the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.

He has, however, assisted with the Cameroon and Canada national teams while holding down a role as a media pundit.

Prior to his four-year spell as national coach, Saint-Andre was director of rugby at English clubs Gloucester and Sale, whom he led to the Premiership in 2006, and Toulon.

Earlier this month, Montpellier brought in former France scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde as a defence coach.

Montpellier, who have never won the French championship, are currently sixth in the Top 14.