Mike Ford: Ex-Bath head coach named Toulon boss

Mike Ford
Mike Ford led Bath to the 2015 Premiership final, where they were beaten by Saracens

Former Bath boss Mike Ford has been named head coach of three-time European champions Toulon.

Ford, 50, joined the French club last month as backs coach and replaces Diego Dominguez, who was appointed in summer.

Former England defence coach Ford left Bath at the end of last season after a ninth-place finish in the Premiership.

Toulon lost to Saracens in their Champions Cup opener - their first home defeat in the competition - before winning 15-5 at Sale on Friday.

Former Italy fly-half Dominguez lasted just 10 games after his appointment - winning five - and leaves with the club fourth in the French league.

He had replaced the hugely successful Bernard Laporte, who guided the club to three European Cups and a Top 14 title in five years.

In a brief statement released by the club, Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal said: "I have decided to entrust the helm of the first team to Mike Ford.

"He has accepted this mission.

"I will not comment on the reasons for my decision."

Former Great Britain rugby league player Ford was part of the coaching set-up that guided England to rugby union's 2007 World Cup final.

He became head coach at Bath in 2013 and led them to the Premiership final in 2015, where they were beaten by his former club Saracens.

Analysis

BBC Radio 5 live rugby correspondent Chris Jones:

"After a few months out of the game following his sacking by Bath, Ford has now landed one of the biggest jobs in world rugby.

"He initially joined the triple European champions as a coach working under Diego Dominguez, but the Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has now confirmed Ford will take full charge of team affairs.

"Toulon have made a patchy start to the season both domestically and in Europe, but their squad is laden with world class players, making it an irresistible challenge for an ambitious coach like Ford."

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