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Pierre Villepreux



What is a hall of fame without some French flair thrown into the mix? And who better to induct first than the father of the counter-attacking fullbacks?

Pierre Villepreux played 34 Test matches for France between 1967 and 1972. During this time, he scored 166 points, made up by 2 tries, 33 penalties, 29 conversions, and a solitary drop goal. While he had only modest success in terms of win/loss ratio(winning only 14 Tests, losing 16 and drawing 4), it was the adventure and the style that he brought to the position of fullback which earns him a nomination.

Although he also played flyhalf for France, it was at fullback where he made his biggest impact, often launching counter-attacks when the opposition were expecting the return kick, and setting the tone for the great counter-attacking fullbacks like JPR Williams and Serge Blanco to latch onto.

Reknowned as one of the best brains in the game of rugby, he gained even more success during his coaching stints as assistant coach in France. But perhaps his greatest moment came when he delivered the paper called Decision Making in Rugby, at the 1993 Asian Pacific Congress in Calgary. It has become the modern-day coaching Bible, often still referred to as the benchmark in backline coaching wrt general fitness and skills drills. And this is 14 years later, during which time rugby has changed completely from an amateur pastime to a full-time profession.

Truly a rugby visionary, well ahead of his time as both a player and a coach.
Definitely one of the all-time French greats - one of the original great attack-minded fullbacks of his era, plus deadly with the boot for place kicks, Villepreux had a great club career with Brive and Stade Toulousain, plus was a legendary player on tour down under and in South Africa during the late 1960s, early 70s - fantastic player and brilliant rugby thinker and coach - currently reading his spanish Rugby de Movimiento coaching book.
Sorry, don`t have a direct link to the paper, but I`m sure it`ll come up if you Google search Pierre Villepreux. Read it in hard copy, brilliant stuff, and well worth the read.

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