The Ospreys have announced that former Clermont fly-half Brock James has been appointed as their new attack coach on a three-year deal.
The Australian, who had a stellar playing career in France, joins new head coach Toby Booth at the start of a new era for Wales’ most successful region.
James won the European Challenge Cup in 2007 and the Top 14 title in 2010 as a player with Clermont and will take up his position in July.
He established himself as the on field leader and talisman of a Clermont side that regularly contested for European and French silverware with him at the helm.
After a player-coach role with Bordeaux Begles, he now takes on a full-time coaching role at the Ospreys.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be a part of the Ospreys,” said James.
“Toby has a great plan and I am looking forward to working with him on delivering that, and I’m very excited to work with the players at the Ospreys.
“When you look at the squad, it is full of experienced internationals and a lot of really exciting young talent coming through the ranks and the chance to work with them was something I couldn’t let pass me by.
“I always had an interest in coaching and my time with Bordeaux really ignited my hunger to go in that direction and to share what I’ve learnt in rugby.
“After 14 years in France I now have the chance to experience a new club and a new competition with a side I can hopefully add some value to.
“I played alongside a lot of international players, especially at Clermont, and I always learnt a lot from them and I am sure it will be the same at the Ospreys as a coach.
“There is a great rugby culture in Wales. I remember watching the old Five Nations when I was a youngster back in Australia.
“There is a very proud rugby history in Wales and as somebody who loves the game, being part of that is something I am really looking forward to.”
Great appointment with Brock James coming in, has a vast experience in the game even if it is a little low in the coaching area. Will get us playing the right way and hopefully we'll our backs flourish under his guidance
— Smiley (@djsmileyLFC) June 26, 2020
James finished his playing career as the all-time record points scorer in French rugby with more than 3,000 points. He ended his playing career with stints at Bordeaux and La Rochelle.
He was also named as one of the top 50 players in the world by a leading rugby publication back in 2009.
James left Australia and the Western Force and Super Rugby back in 2006 and signed for Clermont and in his first season played every game for his new club and was the league’s top scorer with 380 points.
He established a Top 14 record in 2009 when he landed 41 consecutive kicks at goal and that record still stands today. He was only three short of the world record of Wales’ Neil Jenkins.
“Myself and Brock’s philosophy to the game and how we want the Ospreys to play are very similar, it’s about developing a homegrown team, playing an attractive brand of rugby and scoring tries,” said head coach Booth.
“We interviewed 10 candidates for the role and they were all highly qualified and impressive but we were really deliberate and methodical in the whole process to get the person we wanted.
“We appointed Brock because of his rugby CV and because of his vast experience of European competitions and northern hemisphere rugby. Why? Because that is where the Ospreys have to be competitive.
“There is no doubt, in my mind, he will be an inspiration to the players he will be coaching because he has been a success as a player and will bring that same mindset as a coach.
“His temperament and the position he played as a player very much go hand in hand and you can see him bringing those same qualities to his role as a coach. He is very calm, reads the game well and has an ability to think on his feet.
“But the key factor for me in his appointment was that our approach to rugby is very much aligned and the vision and philosophy we have for the style of game we want to play was very similar.
“We both want to play a positive and a try-scoring brand of rugby and we both want to bring that to the Ospreys.”