Gibbes' French move sparks exodus fears
JONO GIBBES is the first member of the Leinster set-up to be claimed by Clermont Auvergne for next season, but the French club's move for the popular forwards coach could pave the way for more to join him.
With Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien being strongly linked with a move to last year's Heineken Cup finalists, the presence of the New Zealander, who has been behind the pack in all three of Leinster's European triumphs, could help lure them to the Stade Marcel Michelin.
Gibbes confirmed his news to the players after last night's clash with the Cardiff Blues and will link up with current Clermont backs coach Franck Azema, who will replace Vern Cotter when he moves to Scotland at the end of the season.
The former All Black was brought to Leinster by Michael Cheika in 2008 and the province won the first of the three Heineken Cups that season.
He remained at the province through the changeover with Joe Schmidt, who was warned off taking Gibbes with him into the Ireland set-up when announced as national head coach last April.