Among the earliest Irish coaching missionaries to the Top 14 was Bernard Jackman, who rose through the coaching ranks to become Grenoble's head coach five years after landing at the club as a skills coach.
After a decent first season, things went awry last season, and he left the club with immediate effect back in March, with the club languishing in the relegation zone. Since Jackman's departure, that relegation has been confirmed.
He retained a desire to return to coaching, and while he floated the possibility of working in the Southern Hemisphere, today he has returned to top-level coaching a little closer to home.
The Welsh Rugby Union has today announced his appointment as the head coach of the Newport-Gwent Dragons.
Jackman came recommended by Warren Gatland, who was involved in the selection process. The Lions head coach had this to say about Jackman, whom he coached at Connacht back in the day:
Bernard is an ideal fit for the Dragons and I know he will be work diligently and exhaustively to ensure that the set-up both on and off the pitch at Rodney Parade is of the very highest quality.
He will be a huge asset to the region, he will create the right environment to allow a talented group to become even better players at the Dragons and he is someone in whom the supporters will find they can put their trust as he will work tirelessly in his pursuit of success.
Jackman himself is understandably thrilled:
The region is a hot bed of Welsh rugby and to join at such a significant moment in time is a challenge I relish. I can't wait to get started and look forward to meeting the playing squad and the backroom team.
We are obviously at the beginning of a major period of transition off the pitch, but on it we will need to quickly get down to work and reward the faith and obvious passion of our supporters throughout the region.
Note: this is the first day in the official renaming of the Dragons as Bernard Jackman's Dragons.