Saint-Andre safe as Toulon coach

by Staff Writer

Philippe Saint-Andre will retain his role as head coach of big-spending Top 14 side Toulon despite their failure to make the play-offs this season, club president Mourad Boudjellal said on Monday.

Boudjellal, who has poured millions of his personal fortune made from his comic book publishing empire into the club, added though that he would shake up the rest of the coaching staff with forwards coach Aubin Hueber and his defensive counterpart David Fraisse thought to be the most at risk.

"Saint-Andre will stay in his role, but he will have different people at his disposition," said 50-year-old Boudjellal.

"It is my belief that we need to strengthen our coaching staff.

"Maybe there are certain people who should have new tasks, more suited to their limitations."

Boudjellal did confirm that one new face among the coaching staff would be former France scrum-half Pierre Mignoni, who retired after Toulon's defeat by Montpellier on Saturday which ended their season.

Mignoni will be the backs coach.

One back who he will not be coaching is former England wing Paul Sackey, who was released by the club on Monday after failing to please either Boudjellal or the coaching team despite scoring six tries in 20 appearances including two in a victory late in the season over Toulouse.

Sackey has been replaced by 24-year-old New Zealander David Smith, who has signed a two year contract from Australian Super 15 outfit Western Force and is the 10th new signing for next season.

Boudjellal said that he and Saint-Andre would also meet with controversial Welsh centre Gavin Henson and decide on his long-term future.

The 29-year-old - who was called-up to the Wales squad for their match with the Barbarians earlier on Monday - made three appearances for the club but came close to being sacked when he was rude about club fly-half and England great Jonny Wilkinson.

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