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How to make it as a coach without being a household name | Mike Prendergast

Former Munster man - and current Racing 92 backs coach - Mike Prendergast gave us a brilliant ins...

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:15 19 May 2021



Rugby

How to make it as a coach without being a household name | Mike Prendergast

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:15 19 May 2021


Former Munster man - and current Racing 92 backs coach - Mike Prendergast gave us a brilliant insight into coaching when you are perhaps not one of the biggest names in world rugby.

Of course, this is not to do down Prendergast's achievements in the game, but his former teammates Ronan O'Gara and Paul O'Connell apparently have names that open doors that may remain closed to others.

So how many doors did Prendergast have to knock before he got his break at Grenoble under Bernard Jackman?

Mike Prendergast: Racing 92 backs coach

"Honestly, I would say about 30 or 40 at a minimum. Most people would come back to you via their contacts, whoever that may be. I even got players that I used to play with that might have been coached by a coach that was still in the game.

"I knocked on a lot of doors and fortunately one of them opened through Bernard.

"I remember it was my last year with Munster, I signed on with them for four years, and I had been doing it for perhaps a couple of months previous to that over the summer. We were into the last season and I know just from a financial point of view that things were tighter. That's natural as it was a club game and I had a full-time role.

"It was very difficult for them to keep it going and I was starting to think: will this ever happen? But fortunately Bernard contacted me."

Jackman & Grenoble

How did the connection with Jackman come about?

"It was more through Paulie and Quinny, really. They would have played with him and known him quite well. I think it was Quinny that put me in contact with him, he kept me updated and Grenoble were looking for a skills coach, through Fabrice Landreau, the Director of Rugby.

"He sounded [Jackman] out - originally, they wanted to do a three-month trial run for the summer to see how it went but I was moving lock, stock and barrel over with the family so they gave me one year.

"Fortunately, that went OK and it was a great place to go in because I didn't have the language. It was a very good role to start off in because a skills coach let me go in without presenting videos, I wasn't under the pump and it allowed me to forge relationships and to learn the language.

"In turn, that allowed me to build relationships with staff and players. You're in France and you need to speak French. That was the first thing I wanted to do."

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