9 Nov 2012

Mehrtens to coach Beziers

7:54 am on 9 November 2012

The former All Black first-five Andrew Mehrtens has been named as the new coach of French second division rugby side Beziers.

He replaces Claude Saurel who pays the price for a poor season so far which has the southern team in 14th place in the division, just above the two relegation spots.

39-year-old Mehrtens, who played 70 times for New Zealand, has been at the club as a player and then on the coaching staff since 2010 following spells with Toulon and Racing Metro.

He was assistant coach to Philippe Benetton before he was sacked and replaced by Saurel in October.

Beziers dominated French club rugby in the 1970s and 80s winning 10 championship titles in 14 years from 1971, but have since fallen on hard times and they have been out of the top flight since 2006.