After seven defeats in 12 matches this season, five in their last seven matches, Perpignan have fired their new coach/manager Jacques Delmas with immediate effect. They are not importing a new coach but have elevated assistant coaches Bernard Goutta and Christophe Manas to coach the side with equal powers.
Announcing the Delmas dismissal, the club's president Paul Goze said: "After the latest defeat in Wales [against the Dragons] without even a losing bonus point, I am forced to recognise that Jacques Delmas's integration into our group has not happened as we had hoped. I'm disappointed for the man, for whom I still hold the greatest esteem, but I was obliged to act in the interest of the club."
Delmas, who played hooker for Narbonne, started his coaching there when he gave up playing in 1985 and coached also at Grenoble, then Biarritz and then at Stade Français before going down to the Catalans when Jacques Brunel accepted the Italian job. The 54-year-old former hooker is an experienced coach but clearly the figures were not good enough for the ambitious Catalans.
On the inhouse promotions, Goze, a former Perpignan player, said: "It's hard for a coach to come from outside into a coaching team and a playing squad already in place, and this prompted me not to replace Delmas but to hand over the professional team to Bernard Goutta and Christophe Manas."
Both Goutta and Manas are former Perpignan players. Goutta, who played rugby league before changing over to rugby union, will be in charge of the forwards, Manas of the backs.
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