Toulon - Mike Ford quit as Toulon head coach on Tuesday after just
six months in the post with Richard Cockerill taking over the turmoil-stricken
French club until the end of the season.
Ford left by mutual consent just two days after Toulon were
beaten by Clermont in the Champions Cup.
Former France international scrumhalf Fabien Galthie has
already been announced as Toulon's new coach for next season.
Ford was the club's third coach in less than a year. He took
over from Diego Dominguez in October, just a month after outspoken club
president Mourad Boudjellal had brought the former England defence coach in as
Toulon's backs coach.
Dominguez was sacked following a poor start to the season
that saw Toulon win only four of eight Top 14 matches and lose at home to
Saracens in the European Champions Cup pool stages.
But results did not improve under Ford - if anything
getting worse - as they have won only six of 14 top flight encounters since
the Englishman took over.
And Sunday's Champions Cup exit at the hands of Top 14
rivals Clermont was the last straw for Boudjellal.
Cockerill was brought into the Toulon backroom staff by Ford
three months ago, just four days after the former England hooker had been
sacked by Leicester Tigers.
Cockerill, who is taking over at Edinburgh next season, will
be assisted by Marc Dal Maso with Australia international Matt Giteau taking
charge of the backs in a player-coach role.
Giteau is to leave Toulon at the end of the season to
continue his playing career in Japan.
Dal Maso will be one of Galthie's assistants next season
alongside Fabrice Landreau, Toulon announced last month.
Galthie guided Stade Francais to the French title in 2007
and Montpellier to the Top 14 final in 2011.
Ford was Bath head coach when they lost to Saracens in the
2015 English Premiership final.
Cockerill guided Leicester to three English titles in five
years from 2009 to 2013.