Clermont coaching duo extend through to 2018

Clermont coaches Franck Azema and Jono Gibbes have given Top 14 semi-finalists a boost by extending their contracts for another three years ahead of this weekend’s clash against Toulouse.

Head coach Azema, who took over from Kiwi Vern Cotter at the beginning of the season, has enjoyed a successful first campaign in charge, leading Clermont to the European Champions Cup final and second in the regular Top 14 standings, leading to Saturday’s huge clash with Toulouse.

Both Azema and forwards coach Gibbes, a former New Zealand international, are now tied down to the club until 2018.

“Right from the first season this duo, to whom we must add Xavier Sadourny (skills and kicking coach), have accomplished all the capability and success that we expected,” said Clermont president Eric de Cromieres in a statement.

“In just a few months they have managed to satisfy our expectations by propelling this team into the European Cup final and the last four of the Top 14 with the possibility of winning a title this first season.”

Azema, 44, joined Clermont from Perpignan in 2010 as assistant to Cotter, now the Scotland coach, while Gibbes moved from Leinster at the beginning of the season.

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