The French team with Sebastien Taofifenua, François Trinh-Duc and Camille Chat after the match against Japan, November 27, 2017 in Nanterre
Four matches, no win and a historic draw (23-23) on Saturday against Japan, the world’s second-ranked nation: three former internationals of the XV of France evoke tracks to get the Blues out of the doldrums.
. Championship: a closed league
The Top 14, which attracts a lot of foreign players, is often singled out as harmful for the selection. „It may be the most profitable championship, but it may not be the one where there is the most speed and intensity,“ says the former third wing line (1971-1978) then coach (1995-1999) Jean-Claude Skrela.
„It will be easier, that’s for sure, if we make a league closed and we say + fire + to the show,“ suggests Thomas Lievremont, another ex-third line of the Blues (1996-2006). „It will not be a question of results but a game of all-out and we will prepare for international matches, we are also bursting with the pressure that exists on all the clubs, the coaches,“ said the former coach of the Under-20s. years.
. Tests: setting annual goals
Elected in December 2016 at the head of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), Bernard Laporte set a goal of three victories in four matches that ridiculed him today as much as Guy Novès. Olivier Magne, still a third line (1997-2007), agrees to put the coaching „under pressure“, but steadily.
„I would be of the opinion, every year, or every two years, to make a return and to set objectives: a minimum percentage of victories to allow the team of France not to vegetate“, estimates the consultant of ‚Eurosport.
. Training: to teach rather than to train
The lack of inspiration of the Blues against Japan has its origin in the teaching of discipline at a young age, say the „ex“. „Of course, you have to learn the culture of winning, but if you lose a match in the rugby school having tried things, taken risks, it does not matter,“ dissects Thomas Lievremont.
„What struck me in the -20 years is that the players took the ball and drove straight.How often the Japanese have us on hooks?“, Said the current educator in the Basque Country.
An opinion shared by Jean-Claude Skrela. „In French rugby, we do not train players, we train them very small, we do not teach at rugby school, we train, we ask kids to do what the big boys do again. ‚Do not train the little ones as you train the big ones.‘
„The rugby of the French team and rugby clubs, it is incompatible,“ slice Jean-Claude Skrela, here on May 6, 2017 in Toulouse
To this is added a deficit of practice compared to the competition, according to Skrela: „in other nations, rugby is taught at school“. Former national technical director (2004-2014), the Toulouse admits that he has „not managed to change things“ during his tenure.
. Federal contracts, return
Bernard Laporte wanted to impose federal contracts. He had to back down in front of the opposition of the powerful clubs of Top 14.
„The rugby of the French team and the rugby clubs, it is incompatible,“ however believes Skrela, a supporter of a system adopted by the Celtic nations and those of the southern hemisphere. „Give me a nation, apart from England, where there is a club rugby.The Scots, who put 40 points to Australia (53-24 Saturday, Ed), play the European Cup, a little Celtic League and especially in the national team, „he insists.
„Today, the same players, you take them under contract when they are 17-18 years old, you make them work, you engage them in the competitions (in youth selection) and it will be yours,“ adds Skrela.
„We can not ask kids to come and take the lead on the team of France“, abounds Lievremont, who knew Anthony Belleau, Antoine Dupont or Judicael Cancoriet, three neo-international thrown in the big bath in November, in – 20 years old.
„How do the other countries do?“ The kids, they integrate them and at the beginning, they use the dynamics of the group to progress, to gain experience.We can not ask these players to win (against) the Blacks „, says the brother of Marc Lievremont, another former coach.