Perpignan have fired Jacques Delmas a mere four months into his tenure with the club.
Delmas took over from long-time supremo Jacques Brunel [phenomenal name], who had long been ear-marked by the Italian Federation as Nick Mallett’s successor for the Azzurri. Delmas is a serious coach and had previously led Biarritz to the HEC final, back in 2006.
His duties as manager will be taken over by assistant coaches Bernard Goutta and Christophe Manas, who were in place from Brunel’s tenure; Delmas was essentially parachuted in on top of them, and now he’s gone. I’d say there are some stories to tell there, and the Mole will try and get a look at L’Équipe and Midi Olympique and apply the magic of Google Translate to them to see if there’s anything particularly scurrilous that should be passed on.
Perpignan are eighth in the Top 14, which is by any definition mid-table, so it’s not as though they’ve got off to a truly appalling start. Last season’s runners-up Montpellier are below them, as are mega-spending Bayonne, whose summer recruitment list included Neemia Tialata, Mark Chisholm, Sione Lauaki, Mike Phillips, Joe Rokococo and Cedric Heymans, and Biarritz are plumbing the depths in last place.
However, Perpignan have lost six from ten in the league and have conceded twice as many tries as they’ve scored. That’s not particularly healthy, because they’re averaging less than a try a game.
Delmas was let go by Max Guazzini at Stade Francais back in March 2010, so the experience isn’t new to him.