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New Portuguese Rugby head coach resigns after one month in charge

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Tuesday Nov 14, 2023

In a surprising turn of events, the Portugal Rugby Federation finds itself in a coaching conundrum as head coach Sebastien Bertrank tenders his resignation just weeks after stepping into the role following Patrice Lagisquet’s departure post-World Cup. Bertrank, who assumed the position after a successful World Cup campaign for Os Lobos, has left the role with immediate effect, citing logistical challenges in balancing his coaching duties with a prominent position at the French Ministry of Sport.

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This unexpected development comes at an inopportune time for Portugal’s national rugby team, which achieved a historic milestone in the recent Rugby World Cup. The team secured their first-ever tournament victory against Fiji and managed a commendable draw against Georgia, signaling a promising future for Portuguese rugby.

The Portugal Rugby Federation officially announced Bertrank’s resignation, stating, “The Portuguese Rugby Federation and Mr. Sebastien Bertrank, National Rugby Coach, hereby publicly announce that, for strictly professional reasons and at his own request, they have agreed to terminate the contractual relationship between them, with immediate effect.”

The federation revealed that the decision stemmed from the increasing workload and numerous requests that the XV National Team received following their impressive performance in the Rugby World Cup. The plan included hosting several international matches and corresponding weeks of preparation, which would have required Bertrank to travel regularly and stay longer in Portugal, leading to a conflict with his role at the French Ministry of Sport.

Faced with the challenge of losing a coach after such a successful campaign, the Portuguese Rugby Federation reluctantly accepted Bertrank’s resignation. In their official statement, they expressed regret over no longer being able to count on the National Coach and extended their best wishes to Bertrank for his future personal and professional endeavors.

The abrupt departure of Bertrank poses a significant setback for Portuguese rugby, and the federation now faces the task of finding a replacement who can maintain the team’s positive momentum. As the search for a new head coach begins, the rugby community watches closely to see how this unexpected twist will impact Portugal’s rugby landscape in the coming months.

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