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'He has some nerve' - Stephen Ferris blasts Jono Gibbes for holding talks with French club before European playoff

Jono Gibbes Photo: Sportsfile
Jono Gibbes Photo: Sportsfile

Stephen Ferris has strongly criticised Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes for holding talks with French side La Rochelle just three days before the province's crunch Champions Cup playoff against the Ospreys.

The former Leinster and Clermont forwards coach has agreed to return home at the end of the season to take over Waikato in New Zealand, after just one season at the helm at Kingspan Stadium, citing family matters as the reason behind his decision.

However, reports emerged during the week that Gibbes travelled to France on Thursday for discussions with the Top 14 side about their vacant head coach role, although it is thought that he will still return to New Zealand.

Speaking on the BBC before today's game against the Ospreys, which Ulster must win to secure a place in next season's Champions Cup, Ferris was blunt in voicing his opinion on events of the last few days.

"It's crazy, Jono Gibbes has some nerve," Ferris said on BBC Northern Ireland's coverage.

"The big week that it is, Ospreys in a do or die game. I just can't get my head around it. Whether or not he takes that job in La Rochelle, for me, it doesn't matter. It is the way he went about it, leaving midweek.

"The fans are not happy.

"Something that Ulster rugby prides itself on is honesty, and the way he has went about his business over the last year or so, the things that are coming up in the media on a weekly basis, I think the lads deserve more than that."

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