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What is wrong with French Rugby?

FrenchFan

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I think that there is upside to taking on the French coaching job - the potential, the player pool is certainly there -
Yes the players are there. But not the other ingredients. At the moment and for the foreseeable future the cons outweight the pros though.
This is why leading French coaches will not be easily enticed. And why the union basically are stuck for top candidates.
Outsiders with a ‘French profile’ are not really an option. Cotter is having a nightmare at Montpellier. Schmidt said he won’t be available after Ireland.

I think the next candidate might be Pierre Mignoni. Not because he’s the most experienced (he isn’t). But because he’s a Laporte man. He was his assistant at Toulon. The union is a mafia. They won’t look outside. They will elect their own people in order to retain control. Brunel’s appointment over Noves is the perfect example.
 
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FrenchFan

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I thought getting rid of Novès was a mistake but he needed more time than Laporte was prepared to concede. Novès would in time have improved things .
Of course he needed more time. Noves got 18 mths or so when Laporte got 8 years!

The bad news for les Bleus is that Brunel is staying in the job until June 2020.
https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Article/Serge-simon-prevu-comme-ca-depuis-le-debut/949326

So the union is going to waste the 1 year of the upcoming 4-year cycle after Japan. This will delay the recruitment of the next selector.
All of this is the result of Noves sacking half-way thru his mandate without even affording him the benefit of a full mandate.
 

The_Blindside

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Of course he needed more time. Noves got 18 mths or so when Laporte got 8 years!

The bad news for les Bleus is that Brunel is staying in the job until June 2020.
https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Article/Serge-simon-prevu-comme-ca-depuis-le-debut/949326

So the union is going to waste the 1 year of the upcoming 4-year cycle after Japan. This will delay the recruitment of the next selector.
All of this is the result of Noves sacking half-way thru his mandate without even affording him the benefit of a full mandate.

And if France come third in Pool C and go home early? Doubt Brunel would keep his job until 2020.
 

barthelemy

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Makes me laugh the focus on Brunel friend of Laporte because the mess and the bad results of the french team, it is much before Brunel. Noves, PSA (They must have been good friends with Laporte and part of the "mafia" as well hahaha...) had as much bad results than Brunel (and even Lievremont despite a grand slam and a RWC final had some bad results..), lets stop the lie here please and lets look at the whole situation over the last 10 years. Then we can talk about solutions.

True, the FFR has its failings but they are not training the players most of the time, they are not tiring them as well with 35 to 40 matches a year.

A good example that shows that we are not learning is the U20s, we have an incredible generation of players there, we should aim to protect them as much as we can. They are playing a 6th nations tournament currently and they should, in a normal world, stay with the french team all along the 6-7 weeks of the tournament. But no, I saw that several important players, including Carbonnel (who is a great hope for the french team - even more because he is a fly-half and god knows that France needs good fly-halfs ) had to play with his club (toulon) on the 17th of Feb. We are just walking on our heads here....
 
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barthelemy

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And if France come third in Pool C and go home early? Doubt Brunel would keep his job until 2020.

Hopefully not. The RWC is a strange animal for the French team, we perform quite well in general (apart 2015, whcih is telling about the current low where the french team is) because these are the rare moments where a French national coach has the players for more than a month of proper preparation with a bit of a rest before hand and without any interferences of the clubs. Again, this is another proof of the negative impact that the number of matches has on he french form the rest of the time.

And it shows that the union is able to prepare a french team properly if we let them the time to do it.

As for coming third, possible but Argentina will have to improve much more than what they have shown since the last world cup, we beat them rather easily this last autumn (and Obviously, as a french man, I'm still sweet dreaming about making it difficult for England :D). Btw, they are also in a strange phase, most of their players are playing together with the Jaguar in Super rugby, they are playing hte 4 nations but seems to not perform very well with the national team...
 
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Bruce_ma_goose

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Hopefully not. The RWC is a strange animal for the French team, we perform quite well in general (apart 2015, whcih is telling about the current low where the french team is) because these are the rare moments where a French national coach has the players for more than a month of proper preparation with a bit of a rest before hand and without any interferences of the clubs. Again, this is another proof of the negative impact that the number of matches has on he french form the rest of the time.

And it shows that the union is able to prepare a french team properly if we let them the time to do it.

As for coming third, possible but Argentina will have to improve much more than what they have shown since the last world cup, we beat them rather easily this last autumn (and Obviously, as a french man, I'm still sweet dreaming about making it difficult for England :D). Btw, they are also in a strange phase, most of their players are playing together with the Jaguar in Super rugby, they are playing hte 4 nations but seems to not perform very well with the national team...

The plodding French pack in the humidity of Japan might not make half time! Basteraud might not make it past the anthem! :p
 

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And if France come third in Pool C and go home early? Doubt Brunel would keep his job until 2020.
Laporte won’t sack his pal Jacques. A second eviction in 2 years would look disastrous for Laporte and the union. And its doubtful he has a credible replacement ready to step in by October. Basically they’re stuck with Brunel until 2020.
 

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I just read that Parra, Camille Lopez and Wesley Fofana are going to play with their club, Clermont this weekend, isn't it fabulous ? And then they will join the french team on Sunday...

https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actual...pe-clermontois-pour-affronter-grenoble/993599

I do not care much at the end of the day because they should not play anymore for the French team but it is showing again the failure of the french rugby, we should have a group of players selected from the start for the 6th nations and this group of players should not even changed (or play any club matched) ,apart if injury, during the whole time of the tournament, this is just ridiculous.
 

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An interesting match today again that showed where the french rugby is : nowhere.

Ireland was a team largely in our reach 10 or more years ago, it is not anymore, this is really sad and shows where France really is : down in world classification and not competitive anymore.

Loads of work to do and I have not a lot of hope that people have taken the measure of the issue in France unfortunately.
 

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An interesting match today again that showed where the french rugby is : nowhere.

Ireland was a team largely in our reach 10 or more years ago, it is not anymore, this is really sad and shows where France really is : down in world classification and not competitive anymore.

Loads of work to do and I have not a lot of hope that people have taken the measure of the issue in France unfortunately.

Will next weekend be Jacques Brunel's last match as head coach :O?
 

barthelemy

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Will next weekend be Jacques Brunel's last match as head coach :O?


Good question :D As I said in several of my posts on this topic, I do not really believe that the coach is the issue of this slow death of the french rugby, the problem is deeper than just a coach change, PSA, Noves or Lievremont have met the same issues that Brunel is facing. But maybe yeah changing the coach will help, I'm really doubtful that it will change anything important for the french team.
 

Highland Shaun

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Good question :D As I said in several of my posts on this topic, I do not really believe that the coach is the issue of this slow death of the french rugby, the problem is deeper than just a coach change, PSA, Noves or Lievremont have met the same issues that Brunel is facing. But maybe yeah changing the coach will help, I'm really doubtful that it will change anything important for the french team.

It does not work, just ask any Italian or Scot. Scotland were bad for sacking coaches every 2yrs yet, until Vern came in, we were as bad under each coach.
 

barthelemy

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Then we agree. The issue we have, as I explained in length on this topic, is a problem of a poor pool of french players. Players not fit to play the international level, not technically and physically adapted and trained to the requirement of today's international level. + obviously, a collective inconsistency due to same pool of players not constantly available to the french team. Ireland is playing Sexton since ages (and he rarely missed a match), us we must have played 10 guys as fly half in the same time because the guy we would like to choose as our number 1 fly half is injured or out of form, consumed by a top14 championship that makes him play too much and not at the right pace.
 
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barthelemy

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A spot on comment I just read on the guardian :

There is a major issue in France: people, whether they are journalists, pundits or rugby federation members, still think that Les Bleus are a major international team, despite all evidence pointing to the opposite.
And it is really hurting the team as a whole. Because who can honestly be surprised that Ireland, which goes toe to toe with England, Wales and the All Blacks, can easily get a home win against a team whose win rate is below 50%?
No one in the rugby world finds it strange...except French people. L'Equipe's title for the report of the game is "Castaways". And the players' ratings put emphasis on how bad Bamba and Penaud were.
Those are two bright talents who got into a starting XV away facing the team that's ranked 2nd in the world...and they get demolished by journalists because France clearly lost. How are they supposed to still feel motivated by such scathing comments I wonder.

When I was little, in the late 90's, more often than not, the tournament was France and England facing each other. Scotland, Ireland and Wales were basically nonfactors (that was around the time Italy entered). It wasn't rare to see France clearly dominating those three teams when they came to Paris (or wherever it was, I'm not sure they used the Stade de France at the time). I didn't read Welsh, Irish or Scottish newspapers, but I can't imagine journalists roasting their teams because they were defeated by a team that was vastly superior away, else it must have been pretty disheartening to read.

But French people are still stuck in the glory days of the past. They still see Les Bleus beating or threatening the All Blacks, even if it hasn't happened in 8 years. They're seeing those glory days as "normal", and every new team is expected to challenge the best teams in the world.

So when they lose (albeit farcically) to a very solid Welsh teams which can still get a Slam, they get roasted. The very convincing half is forgotten. When they beat Scotland, it's expected, even though Scotland has been showing far more of a game plan on the field than Frande did in the last few years. And when they lose to Ireland, they manage to find a way to blame it on the youth.

France is basically Europe's and Rugby's New York Knicks. A team that can't go forward because it's stuck in the memories of better days, which quickly overreacts when something good happens...and is equally as quick to play the blame game whenever reality ensues and better team show them that they still are far away from the top.

I honestly think France has a great generation on the way, for the 2023 and 2027 World Cups. But it needs to realize where it is standing right now. Which is, on par with Italy and Scotland in the bottom half of the 6N.

French flair which was this beautiful thing of the french rugby became finally his downfall. Why Training ? we have the french flair...Why adapting ? We can beat any team on the day..and so on.

Utter arrogance.
 

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They're ok, just not quite as obsessed with the sport as NZ, Wal & Eng are
 

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I think they are lacking Southern Hemisphere coaches. They were the only team in the quarterfinals with a northern hemisphere coach. They did pretty well considering :p
 

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Although the Jiff rules might change some of this in the long-term, the main problems are:

(1) Too many foreign players in the Top 14.
(2) Top 14 season is too long and tiresome.
(3) The style of rugby is too attritional and outdated.
 

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yes tooting, you are right on the reasons... I saw that many of the French here have already burnt Galthié forgetting that he had coached 3 teams in 9 years in top 14, for 3 titles and 6 finals... He's maybe Laporte buddy, but he's also a fecking ( ;) ) good coach and manager. He has been able to recuperate Ibanez (another contender to be the coach of France) in his team. and more of all, he stole Edwards to England. French biggest problem have always been Top 14 teams vs french national squad, inside tje perpetual war between FFR and LNR. (and I don't even speak of the vicil war inside FFR lol )...
French internationals play about 35-45 match a year to compare to other nations. It's not a problem of training, they train professionally like other Nations... they are totally burnt for internationals and also club refuse to share them... most of the time, the french natiuonal coach have its player a week only before tests... we have to change the system of top 14 and we have to give priority to the national squad LIKE IT IS DONE IN ALMOST EVERY OTHER NATIONS.

I just disagree about "outdated" comment you did... if so, can you explain why french clubs continues to perform regularly in Europe, despite usual referring favorising anglo-speaking (less than before, but hey, still a little, and when necessary)...
 

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Interesting to reread this topic, the good performances of the french team on the last 3 matches put all what we said in perspective. Surely, we need to wait some more matches to talk about resurrection of les bleus but based on what we have seen, there is definitely an improvement in terms of stamina/endurance and in terms of mental. Still a long way to go but you have to be blind to not see a new perspective for this french team.

The mix of change of coaching team + massive integration of young players seem to work well. FrenchFan must be eating his hat right now, a good friend of Laporte at the head of the french team + a foreign defense coach seem to work quite well for now :D.

I think the change of mentality is definitely to put on the integration of new young players, they have been trained much better than their predecessors, they have the endurance required by modern rugby, some of them have been part of the U20 2 times world champion team, they are not used to lose.

It is really nice to see such a change, maybe the end of the tunnel ? I really appreciated the performance agaisnt wales. and on top of everything, France did win their first 3 matches showing an entertaining rugby, England/Ireland was slightly boring in my opinion

One of the other improvement in my opinion is the strategy management, there is much more variation now in hte french game between ball in hand play and kicking game. They also know how to stop some endless and useless pick and go to try another strategy when needed. and this is certainly to put the credit of a guy like Dupont

The 2 last matches will be again some important test for this french team, will be important to stay focus against scotland and to win. Based on what Ireland showed vs England, if we win convingly against scotland, I do not see the irish beat us in Paris
 
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