Cape Town - South African coach Jake White on Monday signed a pre-contract to
extend his stay with Top 14 side Montpellier as talks at an employment
tribunal between the club and former coach Fabien Galthie aimed at
resolving financial issues between the two parties broke down.
Montpellier also signed former France captain Abdelatif Benazzi as general manager for next season.
White, South Africa's 2007 World Cup winning coach, was brought in to
replace Galthie who was suspended on December 29 after a string of
The 52-year-old White and club president Mohed Altrad had indicated
they wished to continue working together beyond June, and sources close
to the club confirmed on Monday that the new deal will keep White at the
club till 2017.
The news comes as talks between Galthie and Montpellier at an
employment tribunal in the southern city weren't resolved on Monday, and
they have been ordered to return in January next year if they haven't
sorted out their differences by then.
Galthie, who claims he's effectively been fired, is demanding that
his salary be paid until the end of his contract which expires in June
2017 amounting to €2 million.
White has already started to recruit for next season with Australian
scrumhalf Nic White, 24, and South African flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis,
25, also signing pre-contracts for two years in mid-January with an
option for a third.
White took over after the club's 27-0 defeat at Castres on a
six-month consultant's contract with Galthie's initial suspension
Montpellier are seventh in the Top 14, one point off sixth spot, the
cut-off for the six-team playoffs, with just five games left.
White has won three matches, lost three and drawn one since arriving in southern France.
Former second row and back row forward Benazzi, 46, played 78 times
for France from 1990 to 2001 but also turned out once for his native
The length of his contract has not been revealed but a Montpellier
statement said: "His main role will be to interface, the link between
the sporting sector and the club's back office."