Jackman 'delighted' with Grenoble job
Bernard Jackman said he couldn't turn down the opportunity to become the new Grenoble head coach from next season.
In his only newspaper interview before his unveiling today as the Top 14 side's new coach, the former Ireland hooker declared that even Leinster could not have persuaded him to return home.
However, the Carlow man says he would like to return home to Ireland to pursue his coaching career at some stage -- but only after he has achieved something tangible during his stint in France.
"I'm delighted to have been given this opportunity," Jackman told the Irish Independent last night.
"It was always in my sights to become a head coach at some stage and this is an environment in which I am comfortable in and my family are very settled here. I owe it to the club who have placed faith in me, but I want this challenge for myself too.
"I don't think Leinster would have been an option for me anyway as I think Leo Cullen is an obvious choice to succeed Jono Gibbes as their forwards coach.
"I have six months now to put in a lot of hard work and we are well-placed to qualify for the Heineken Cup for the first time in our history next season. If that happens, I wouldn't be afraid of it in my first season in charge. I would thrive on the challenge.
"I've had a 10-year playing career in Ireland, but now I want to stay in France and achieve something here as a coach and do well enough to come back to Ireland.
"There's huge potential here -- we are building a new 18,000-seater stadium and the staff are excellent."
Jackman (37) who won nine caps for Ireland, cut his coaching teeth from an early age, helming Tullow as a 23-year-old before enjoying stints with Newbridge College, Coolmine, Clontarf and St Michael's.
Jackman won a Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2009 and has been defence coach with Grenoble since 2011 season, when the club were promoted to the Top 14. This year, he is defence and collisions coach for the south-eastern club, who are seventh in the Top 14.
"There are few enough jobs at home but a few Irish coaches are doing well overseas and I don't have any objection to overseas coaches getting jobs in Ireland," he said.
"I always wanted to work with the best coaches. Irish coaches need to fill their CVs with experience and my advice would be to pack their bags and get that experience."