James Coughlan joins Toulon as defence coach

Former Munster number eight has spent seven years in France as player and coach

 

The former Munster number eight James Coughlan has been unveiled as the new defence coach at Toulon, the three-time winners of the Heineken Champions Cup. The move continues Coughlan’s seven season stint in the Top 14 as a player and a coach.

Coughlan had parted company with Brive recently after a year working there with head coach Jeremy Davidson as their defence coach and assistant forwards coach, in tandem with the one-time French hooker Marc del Maso.

“I am very glad to join RCT,” Coughlan said, “I can’t wait to meet the staff and players and to be able to take part in my first training this afternoon. It’s a very exciting challenge for me and I thank the club for their trust.”

Toulon general manager Patrice Collazo said: “James has a lot of experience at a great European club. He is a real added value for the players and the staff to whom he will bring his experience and rigour.”

“Here he will be dealing with defence and individual technique of the forwards. James is what we call a transition coach, since he will also be working on the training centre.”

Coughlan played 137 times for Munster before moving to Pau in 2014. He was the ProD2 player of the season when Pau won promotion in his first season with the club, and played two seasons in the Top 14 before retiring in June 2017, having made 69 appearances in his three seasons there.

In is two years with their academy, 27 of 30 players went on to sign professional deals and they reached the final against Clermont, before becoming the forwards coach in the ProD2 with Aix-en-Provence, where he again made a positive impression before joining Brive.

As with fellow ex Munster players such Mike Prendergast at Racing, where he is attack coach, and of course Ronan O’Gara at La Rochelle, Coughlan is building quite a coaching CV and reputation in the Top 14.

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