Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP 15:33 p.m., November 19, 2023

Montpellier Hérault Rugby confirmed Sunday the arrival at the head of the club of Bernard Laporte, former president of the FFR and former coach of the XV of France. The stated objective is to "save the club" from Hérault, currently bottom of the Top 14. An arrival that should be commented on, Bernard Laporte having been condemned along with the club's president, Mohed Altrad.

Montpellier confirmed on Sunday the arrival of Bernard Laporte, former president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), in order to "save the club" from Hérault, currently bottom of the Top 14. The former coach of the XV of France, 59, is appointed director of rugby, said in a statement Montpellier Hérault Rugby (MHR), speaking of a "strategic decision (...) taken in view of the sporting emergency situation of the club". Laporte succeeds Philippe Saint-André, also former coach of the France team, who will however continue "to advise the general management" of the MHR.

Joint condemnation with the club's president

"The arrival of Bernard Laporte aims to save the club and to restore cohesion to the sporting project," said the Languedoc club, who are bottom of the table after their defeat at Perpignan (23-16) on Saturday, their sixth defeat in seven games.

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The arrival of Bernard Laporte in the club of president Mohed Altrad will not fail to be commented on, less than a year after the two men were jointly convicted in a case of active corruption, influence peddling and misuse of company assets. In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche, Mohed Altrad justified this decision, evoking "one of the best French connoisseurs of world rugby", with "the culture of winning".

At the head of the FFR until January 2023, Bernard Laporte had been pushed to resign after his sentence to two years in prison suspended and 75,000 fine on December 13, 2022 by the criminal court of Paris, for having entered into a "corruption pact" with Mohed Altrad, linked in particular to the sponsorship of the jersey of the XV of France. A decision he has appealed. The head of the MHR received an 18-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 euros.