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Gloucester Rugby: Olivier Azam would welcome a return to Kingsholm but the timing might not be right

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

By Mike Brown @citizen_rugby

Olivier Azam would welcome a return to Kingsholm but is happy in France

Olivier Azam would welcome a return to Kingsholm but is happy in France

GLOUCESTER legend Olivier Azam has vowed to return to take the reins at Kingsholm but admits the timing might not be right.

The former France hooker spent 10 years, over two stints, with the Cherry and Whites before forging an impressive career as a coach.

He enjoyed two years as forwards coach at Heineken Cup champions Toulon and has led Lyon to Top14 promotion in his first season at the helm.

Gloucester are searching for a new director of rugby following the shock sacking of Nigel Davies and Azam’s name has been mooted.

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But the 39-year-old insists he has a job to complete with Lyon, ensuring they secure survival in the Top 14.

Azam said: “I will probably extend my contract at Lyon because I want to see through my work here. It would take a lot to accept an approach from Gloucester because I am very happy at Lyon.

“I will come back to Gloucester one day to take the reins of the club, that’s for sure.

“When the time is right for me and my family I will come back. My wife is from Gloucester and we have a lot of friends and family there.

“I’m really attached to the club, Gloucester is my club. When I read they were having a meeting to understand what Gloucester is I couldn’t believe it, it’s really sad.

“Gloucester’s position in the league is not towards the bottom it is consistently around the top four. I have a close relationship with the owner and his family and if they need me one day I will come back.”

It is understood Gloucester are looking for a more forward-orientated director of rugby to rule with an iron-fist and Azam would certainly go some way to fitting the bill.

He moulded Toulon’s myriad of stars into a formidable forward unit and Lyon have marched into the Top 14 with a record number of points.

Azam is determined to help establish Lyon in the Top14 with an ultimate target of qualification for the Rugby Champions Cup.

He added: “I was at Toulon for two years, before I came they were eighth in the league and by the time I left they had won the Heineken Cup and had the best lineout. This year they are still doing well but have the 10th best lineout.

“At Lyon we have just been promoted to the Top14 with the best record of points scored by a team in Pro D2.

“Next season the target is to stay up, it’s a ferocious league but we have recruited well and have put in a lot of work it. Taking them to a top European place is the ultimate goal, it would be great to do it as quickly as possible

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