Saint-Andre to join Toulon

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The Independent Online

Toulon have confirmed the appointment of Philippe Saint-Andre as sporting president for next season.

Speculation has been rife since Saint-Andre announced in December his decision to quit as Sale Sharks director of rugby at the end of the season.

The 41-year-old will officially start his new role on July 1.

"The rumour has been circulating for several weeks, but now it's official," read a statement on the club website, www.rctoulon.com. "Philippe Saint-Andre will be at Toulon next season because he has been named sporting president, from July 1 2009, by (president) Mourad Boudjellal.

"A man who is up for a challenge and an empire-builder in spirit, he will be involved in recruitment and structure of the club.

"It should be noted that Tana Umaga retains responsibility for the first team as long as the club remains in the Top 14."

Former France captain Saint-Andre - who won 69 international caps - recently announced his decision to call time on his stint at Sale, whom he joined in May 2004.

Toulon are currently mired in a relegation battle and things will look even more bleak if they lose their next match against fellow strugglers Mont-de-Marsan.

In a press conference to announce Saint-Andre's appointment, Boudjellal claimed the former winger will ensure the club are fighting at the right end of the table next season.

"I have already said that I am totally responsible for errors in our recruitment and that I was looking for a leading brain," he said. "I have found that brain: Philippe Saint-Andre, who will be sporting president.

"He will work in close collaboration with Tana Umaga."

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