Following the departure of Raphael Ibanez as the team manager for French rugby, the French Rugby Federation is currently on the hunt for a new coach to lead their men’s side. Ibanez was appointed to work alongside Fabien Galthie after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and played a significant role in revitalizing French rugby. However, their relationship appears to have broken down over the last few months due to disagreements before and during the World Cup that have not been repaired since.
The tension between Ibanez and Galthie was not helped by the actions of former Les Bleus player Richard Dourthe, who publicly criticized Galthie last weekend. This public criticism added to the strained relationship as Dourthe is also Ibanez’s brother-in-law. Dourthe accused Galthie of eluding important points about the team’s performance and results in an interview with Canal +.
Ibanez is expected to remain with the French Rugby Federation but will no longer be attached to the men’s side. A role in youth and/or women’s sections has been suggested for him, leaving Galthie with a rebuilding job on the coaching side of things. Several coaching staff members have already left for other teams, making it difficult for Galthie to build a stable team from scratch.
Despite these coaching changes, Galthie will have a relatively stable lineup in terms of players, as most are young enough to go through another four-year cycle. However, he will be without his captain Antoine Dupont for the 2024 Six Nations as he looks to fine-tune his skills ahead of participating in sevens at the Paris Olympics.
The departure of Ibanez marks yet another blow for French rugby after losing several key players due to injuries and retirement over recent years. As such, it remains uncertain how well they will perform without their former coach leading them into battle once again.
In conclusion, France must find a way to overcome these challenges if they want to remain competitive in international rugby competition. With so many changes taking place both on and off-field, it will take time for them to settle into their new roles and form a cohesive unit once again.
However, there is hope that with continued hard work and dedication from both coaches and players alike, France can rise above adversity and prove themselves on