Ulster and head coach Jono Gibbes face into their biggest game of the season on Sunday when they take on the Ospreys at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.
The winner of this fixture will qualify for next season’s Champions Cup and if the northern province manages to progress, it will at least sign their campaign off on a positive note after a turbulent period of time, on and off the field.
Ulster’s off-the-field issues have been well documented at this stage and they have faced an unsettled coaching set up with Director of Rugby Les Kiss leaving the team mid-season. Jono Gibbes took up the reins but it was soon announced that he was to leave the province at the end of the season due to family reasons so he could return home to New Zealand to take up a position with Waikato.
However, reports emerging from France this week suggest that Gibbes is in talks to take over at Top 14 outfit, La Rochelle.
The French side have had a disappointing season finishing 7th in standings after securing a first placed finish the season before.
Interesting to hear that Jono Gibbes is scheduled to visit La Rochelle tomorrow with a view to succeeding Patrice Collazo. Was due to return to New Zealand but has experience of coaching in France with Clermont. https://t.co/UaEVIQGN5m
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) May 16, 2018
Whether the reports are accurate remains to be seen but if true, it could leave a sour taste in the mouth of Ulster supporters.