Toulon’s eccentric millionaire owner Mourad Boudjellal has once again dipped into the Australian market to solve his woes.
Former Australian coach John Connolly has been hired by the crisis-ridden Toulon, who infamously scooped Rugby League convert Sonny Bill Williams in a moved that was heading for court before settlement was reached.
Connolly, a former Stade Francais and Wallaby coach, has been invited by Boudjellal to look into why the star-studded club is not living up to their potential in the French Top 14 competition.
The decision comes after Toulon’s disappointing return to the elite division suffered another blow with a 42-20 hammering at the hands of Montauban.
It also follows the sacking of forwards coach Jean-Jacques Crenca, two days after a 17-21 defeat against Castres.
Boudjellal said then he was trying to “understand why things were not working” and would be hiring someone of international stature to help.
Connolly is expected to arrive in Toulon on Monday and will start talking to players and staff this week.
Toulon now sit third last on the Top 14 table with just two wins from nine starts.
The big-spending newcomers conceded six tries to Montauban, including three to Fijian flier Vilimoni Delasau.
But Toulon coach Tana Umaga refused to accept that his days were numbered.
“This week has been difficult,” conceded Umaga. “However, I believe we showed what we could do in the final 20 minutes.
“I don’t feel any more under threat than I did before the match. That is part and parcel of a coach’s life,” added the All Black great.
Williams, who quit the Sydney-based Bulldogs Rugby League club to move to Toulon, is expected back in two weeks after suffering a leg fracture early in the season.Tweet