Ulster secured a place in the Champions Cup next season thanks to a playoff victory over the Ospreys today. It marked the final game of Jono Gibbes reign, with the Kiwi set to leave Ireland next week.
Gibbes was set to return home to New Zealand citing "for family reasons" earlier this year. However, reports emerged during the week that he had traveled to France to visit the French Top 14 club La Rochelle with a view to succeeding Patrice Collazo. Gibbes was criticised in places for doing so the while Ulster were preparing for a crucial game and today was asked about his decision to travel to France by BBC NI.
I think if you look at it the question is probably did preparation get compromised? No, it didn't. It was a players day off. The fact is, it was a bizarre game in that we had three weeks to prepare for this game anyway. There wasn't a lot of detail that had to be covered off on players down day. I've got a life outside of Ulster rugby as well.
When he was asked was he leaving on a sour taste, Gibbes left the reporter in no uncertain terms that he did not appreciate the question.
Why would you ask that mate? I just said I had a great experience working with people, it's been a difficult year. There's no sour taste.
— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) May 20, 2018