Galthie to replace Ford as Toulon coach

RC Toulon's president Mourad Boudjellal (L) speaks with Fabien Galthie in January 2017

Former France captain Fabien Galthie will take over as coach of rugby giants Toulon with Englishman Mike Ford leaving at the end of the season, the Top 14 side said Monday.

The 48-year-old Galthie will "take the reins of the entire sports sector" assisted by Fabrice Landreau and Marc Dal Maso, the club confirmed minutes after announcing Ford's departure.

Ford, 51, was brought in to replace Diego Dominguez in October after the former three-time European champions endured a poor start to the season.

Toulon -- French champions in 2014 -- are stuck in a fierce battle to make the end-of-season play-offs.

Galthie, without a club since leaving his coaching role at Montpellier in December 2014, and Landreau, sacked by Grenoble before the start of the season, have signed two-year deals.

The duo guided Stade Francais to the French title in 2007.

"Fabien Galthie will proceed to set up a technical staff of his choice," Toulon said in a statement.

Galthie, a former France international scrum-half, also led Montpellier to a Top 14 runner-up spot in 2011. After being sacked by the southern side he took legal action and won 484,500 euros ($520,000) damages.

Ford, a former England defence coach, will leave the club at the end of the season "to engage in another project", the club said.

The club of outspoken Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has had a rollercoaster season since the departure of Bernard Laporte, who took them to three European titles between 2013 and 2015.

Although through to the European Cup quarter-finals, Toulon are fifth in the Top 14, throwing away a 17-point lead at the weekend at struggling Grenoble before a 23-23 draw.