Bernard Jackman, whose coaching exploits with Grenoble have been subject to many passing expressions of admiration over the past three years, has signalled that he's open to taking on the Connacht job should it be offered.
Bookmakers made him favourite to take the job as soon Pat Lam's shock decision was announced. He recently stepped upstairs to take the Director of Rugby role at Grenoble. The side has long been touted as relegation fodder and currently find themselves at the bottom of the Top 14.
Speaking on 2FM's Game On tonight, Jackman said he was open to an approach from the province.
Ye for sure I would like to talk to them if they found it worth their while talking to me. I have been massively impressed by what they have done there. I have played there at a time when there probably wasn't that stability in terms of a strong link with the union.
Willie Ruane has come in and given them real clarity in terms of what they want to build. Bookies drive nice cars for a reason so I wouldn't be getting carried away with the bookies' list...
The Connacht job is incredibly attractive for anybody. I have got a big challenge here to try and get this club (Grenoble) out of the relegation zone so I think all that stuff is just talk.
Jackman, however, is wary about being handed the job on any grounds other than merit. Connacht CEO Willie Ruane was asked this week whether it finding an Irish coach was important to them. The answer appeared to be "No."
I would hate to get the job because I was Irish. Whatever job I get next or if Grenoble advertise the job again, I want to get a job because I was the best candidate.
Jackman played for two spells between 1997 and 2005, interrupted by a two year sojourn at Sale Sharks around the turn of the century. He headed home to Leinster after '05.
Even the most casual rugby fans will have heard word of Bernard Jackman pulling up trees in the French club game. In the offices of Irish sports websites, we now refer to Grenoble as 'Bernard Jackman's Grenoble'.
He joined the Grenoble backroom team when they were still in the second tier of French rugby. They were promoted in the 2011-12 season and have stubbornly avoided the drop for the past four seasons. Jackman became coach in 2013.
Read more: 2017 Six Nations Referees Announced And Wayne Barnes Will Referee Wales-Ireland Yet Again