Clermont Auvergne have announced they will promote Franck Azema to head coach when Vern Cotter leaves at the end of the season.
With Cotter departing to take charge of Scotland, Clermont have also drafted in Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes on a two-year deal with the option of a third. Azema played in the centres for Montpellier, Perpignan and Clermont and took on the role of Perpignan backs coach from 2006 through to 2010. He then returned to Les Jaunards and after impressing under Cotter, he will be head honcho next season.
Both Robbie Deans and Jake White were linked with the post but Clermont have chosen to appoint from within, on the recommendation of Cotter.
Clermont chief Jean-Marc Lhermet said: "Franck has gained a lot of experience under Vern Cotter but also with Jacques Brunel at USAP. With his skills, technical approach, rugby management and personality, he takes up his new duties with our full confidence in order to maintain the ambitions of ASM Clermont Auvergne at both national and European level."
Azema admitted he was "honoured" to be taking on the role and has targeted silverware in Cotter's final season at Clermont. Azema said: "I know it will be an exciting challenge, but before facing it head on, I have another mission to finish with Vern and we intend to conclude in style."
And Azema will be joined at Clermont by Gibbes. The eight-cap All Black will take up his post on July 1 2014 in a move which brings to an end his successful spell at Leinster after he joined the province in 2008. During that time he helped guide Leinster to three Heineken Cups.
Leinster CEO Mark Dodson paid tribute to Gibbes, saying: "Jono has been an integral part of the Leinster backroom since joining the province at the start of the 2008/09 campaign and has made an invaluable contribution during a hugely successful period for the province.
"He has worked under three coaches and has always shown great dedication, enthusiasm and a strong work ethic. While we're obviously disappointed to see him go, we respect his decision and wish him and his family well with this new chapter in their lives."
Leinster will hope Gibbes' exit to Clermont will not spark an exodus with Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip both reportedly on the radar of Les Jaunards.