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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:32 pm 
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Way back in the mists of time, I think my first ever post on PR was titled above. We were only just into the brave new world of professionalism and my mutterings concerned various aspects of how French rugby was heading down the toilet due to a combo of
- continuing the corrupt leadership of decades in the FFR
- the presumption that France didn't need to do anything to change partly because it had actually been professional all along i.e. players paid throughout 100 years of "amateurism"
- an already increasing trend of importing foreign journeymen: back then I labelled Stade Francais "les artificiels" which is hilarious when you think they only had 4 or 5 foreigners when they won the T14 then
- money driving the game: too many fixtures etc

Well, finally Bernol (Midi Olympique) at least has woken up. Utterly damning article:

https://www.rugbyrama.fr/rugby/xv-de-fr ... tory.shtml

The punchlines:
a) French rugby has nothing required for a modern game: speed, fitness, intelligence, leadership, talent, power. The litany of technical faults seen every day of Top 14 proves it (Kerrist, anyone watch Clermont at Lyon? x( )
b) Keep on going and everyone from supporters to schoolkids to sponsors will walk away and in the ultimate of ironies, French rugby will become amateur.......... for the first time.


Many of you will correctly point out that this demise is thoroughly deserved but rugby really needs a healthy and competitive France. Trouble is if it isn't already too late, it will take a generation to make any real changes assuming anyone in charge has the vision or the will.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:41 pm 
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Stop buying the worlds entire playing base and create your own.
No sympathy.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Surely France would be one of the leading suppliers of professional rugby players in the world?

Problems for France are partly a mindset in how to approach the game, and the club Vs country issue which is still very much an issue for England too even if we've moved forwards a little with the EPS. Though I'd also add I don't know there's much wrong with French rugby when they've the biggest number of pro clubs, one of the largest playing pools going, and their clubs play in some great comps including the richest domestic league going.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:51 pm 
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nardol wrote:
Stop buying the worlds entire playing base and create your own.
No sympathy.

Quite correct.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:04 pm 
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nardol wrote:
Stop buying the worlds entire playing base and create your own.

I suspect that will only happen when the money runs out or, more accurately, runs away. :((


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:06 pm 
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handyman wrote:
nardol wrote:
Stop buying the worlds entire playing base and create your own.
No sympathy.

Quite correct.


There must be over 300 French players in the Top14, maybe 350 odd, and probably similar again in D2. How many are we expecting them to supply? Also it's not like they're importing slaves, most players heading to France are surely very happy with their contracts.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:22 pm 
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It's a coaching issue.

Club level fitness is notoriously poor. Players are unfit and meeting each other for the first time when they get to the Blues, to be coached by a French man who has not proven he has what it takes to coach international rugby. England has a strong club set up, but it's handled so much better, look at the access Eddie gets to his players. English clubs seem to realise that they need the international game to survive. Maybe the French clubs don't realise it, or actually don't need it. French rugby doesn't seem to be struggling for popularity, despite the intl results of late.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:28 pm 
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France remind me of England circa 2005. It will take a national coach with a big personality and somebody in admin to take on the clubs and they'll be fine. As I keep saying, they're generally losing games by one or two scores, a properly fit team would be winning most of these.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:31 pm 
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croyals wrote:
France remind me of England circa 2005. It will take a national coach with a big personality and somebody in admin to take on the clubs and they'll be fine. As I keep saying, they're generally losing games by one or two scores, a properly fit team would be winning most of these.


Exactly. They are losing games because they can't handle 80 mins at intl pace. It's not because there are too many foreigners in their leagues. There are double the French players in the Top 14 than there are Aussies in the Soup, and that's not counting ProD2. Player depth isn't the issue.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Zakar wrote:
croyals wrote:
France remind me of England circa 2005. It will take a national coach with a big personality and somebody in admin to take on the clubs and they'll be fine. As I keep saying, they're generally losing games by one or two scores, a properly fit team would be winning most of these.


Exactly. They are losing games because they can't handle 80 mins at intl pace. It's not because there are too many foreigners in their leagues. There are double the French players in the Top 14 than there are Aussies in the Soup, and that's not counting ProD2. Player depth isn't the issue.

How can international players be unfit in this day and age? That's pathetic.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:48 pm 
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nardol wrote:
Stop buying the worlds entire playing base and create your own.
No sympathy.


and weakening other countries as you do it :x


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:52 pm 
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handyman wrote:
Zakar wrote:
croyals wrote:
France remind me of England circa 2005. It will take a national coach with a big personality and somebody in admin to take on the clubs and they'll be fine. As I keep saying, they're generally losing games by one or two scores, a properly fit team would be winning most of these.


Exactly. They are losing games because they can't handle 80 mins at intl pace. It's not because there are too many foreigners in their leagues. There are double the French players in the Top 14 than there are Aussies in the Soup, and that's not counting ProD2. Player depth isn't the issue.

How can international players be unfit in this day and age? That's pathetic.


Top 14 clubs are notorious for having a Laissez-faire attitude to fitness. It's endemic. Some "anglo" players hire their own PTs to keep their fitness up, as the clubs do fudge all fitness work. Some will aparently have a spread of wine and cheese on the sideline during team runs though, do that's nice :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Zakar wrote:
handyman wrote:
Zakar wrote:
croyals wrote:
France remind me of England circa 2005. It will take a national coach with a big personality and somebody in admin to take on the clubs and they'll be fine. As I keep saying, they're generally losing games by one or two scores, a properly fit team would be winning most of these.


Exactly. They are losing games because they can't handle 80 mins at intl pace. It's not because there are too many foreigners in their leagues. There are double the French players in the Top 14 than there are Aussies in the Soup, and that's not counting ProD2. Player depth isn't the issue.

How can international players be unfit in this day and age? That's pathetic.


Top 14 clubs are notorious for having a Laissez-faire attitude to fitness. It's endemic. Some "anglo" players hire their own PTs to keep their fitness up, as the clubs do fudge all fitness work. Some will aparently have a spread of wine and cheese on the sideline during team runs though, do that's nice :lol:

Mate of mine does some work on lineouts and throwing at Pau twice a month. He cannot believe how little proper fitness work they do. Even when the senior coaches are New Zealanders there is very little attention to fitness!! They eat well mind you!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:23 pm 
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French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:34 pm 
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The other element is that French clubs need to realise that a successful national team is good for them as well. English rugby has been on a much better footing since our clubs cottoned on to that.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:49 pm 
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CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


$That here is the reason why WR cant do anything about players being pressured to abstain from playing for the ntional team.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:07 pm 
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If they can redress the balance between the national side and the clubs, as well as ensure all their top guys have a higher level of fitness maintained throughout the year then I could easily see them being in the top 3. Even if half their club sides are foreigners that is still a lot of french players playing at a high level.

edit: and while I completely understand the desire for a French coach, perhaps they need to bite the bullet if it is clear there is a more suitable foreign candidate. Does Cotter speak French yet?


Last edited by Andalu on Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Heymans wrote:
CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


$That here is the reason why WR cant do anything about players being pressured to abstain from playing for the ntional team.

It's the best offer going around for tuer 2 players. Mo quotas nothing. French rugby is picking up the slack.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:24 pm 
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Zakar wrote:
It's a coaching issue.

Club level fitness is notoriously poor. Players are unfit and meeting each other for the first time when they get to the Blues, to be coached by a French man who has not proven he has what it takes to coach international rugby. England has a strong club set up, but it's handled so much better, look at the access Eddie gets to his players. English clubs seem to realise that they need the international game to survive. Maybe the French clubs don't realise it, or actually don't need it. French rugby doesn't seem to be struggling for popularity, despite the intl results of late.

It stops there. They've had the worst coaching staffs in Tier 1 Rugby for over a decade. Rugby today is about consistent collective execution not talent. As long as they continue to throw in farces of coaches, they'll continue to be the farce of int'l Rugby. It just stops there. How are you going to even begin to show your battle potential with no strategy/no general ? It's wasteful aimless effort on the pitch Test match after Test match. Ffs, channel that effort, get the guys who can channel that effort.
They're too dumb in their own ways to acquire the solution to the problem because the solution to the problem is surely not French.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:46 pm 
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CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


The players barely response to native french coaches and often rebel against them and don't listen. Would a foreign English speaking coaches get past that?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:57 pm 
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Been said already. Problem is fitness.

On a dry pitch teams can run the legs off them.

I remember the Clermont v Leinster game last year. Every stoppage a Clermont forward put a knee down to slow the rhythm of the game . Nige did nothing about it and it worked.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Just watching Lyon Clermont here. Is this thread about the state of Clermont. As shit a performance as I have ever seen at 50 mins. Does it get better?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 pm 
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eldanielfire wrote:
CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


The players barely response to native french coaches and often rebel against them and don't listen. Would a foreign English speaking coaches get past that?

Coz being a good coach isn't just about knowing your rugby. It's also about managing a group. I'm sure a good coach would find a way and it seems NZ have a lot of good coaches. Plus someone from the outside brings fresh perspectives.. a la Eddie Jones/England.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Its a great shame France are still poor, I cannot see a way back watching them against Scotland they seemed disinterested and their discipline was shocking.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:06 pm 
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eldanielfire wrote:
CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


The players barely response to native french coaches and often rebel against them and don't listen. Would a foreign English speaking coaches get past that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrDJ6KfOy_Q&t=1038s

This video from the 1014 on how Jones' has coached sides, you can clearly see what to do and what not to do in the case of French Rugby.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:54 am 
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Zakar wrote:
handyman wrote:
Zakar wrote:
croyals wrote:
France remind me of England circa 2005. It will take a national coach with a big personality and somebody in admin to take on the clubs and they'll be fine. As I keep saying, they're generally losing games by one or two scores, a properly fit team would be winning most of these.


Exactly. They are losing games because they can't handle 80 mins at intl pace. It's not because there are too many foreigners in their leagues. There are double the French players in the Top 14 than there are Aussies in the Soup, and that's not counting ProD2. Player depth isn't the issue.

How can international players be unfit in this day and age? That's pathetic.


Top 14 clubs are notorious for having a Laissez-faire attitude to fitness. It's endemic. Some "anglo" players hire their own PTs to keep their fitness up, as the clubs do fudge all fitness work. Some will aparently have a spread of wine and cheese on the sideline during team runs though, do that's nice :lol:

:shock:
:thumbup: Respect


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:29 am 
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Wendigo7 wrote:
eldanielfire wrote:
CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


The players barely response to native french coaches and often rebel against them and don't listen. Would a foreign English speaking coaches get past that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrDJ6KfOy_Q&t=1038s

This video from the 1014 on how Jones' has coached sides, you can clearly see what to do and what not to do in the case of French Rugby.

Excellent video. Interesting comments on Quade about having a consistent 12 to play alongside. Coopers best years was with Anthony Faingaa at 12. Not the most talented but was strong and consistent at what he did. Complementary skills.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:55 am 
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Torquemada 1420 wrote:
Many of you will correctly point out that this demise is thoroughly deserved but rugby really needs a healthy and competitive France. Trouble is if it isn't already too late, it will take a generation to make any real changes assuming anyone in charge has the vision or the will.

England have gone from roughly 60% winning ratio under Lancaster, to a 96% winning ratio under Jones.

Improvement can be that immediate and drastic if they can find someone to take it by the balls and immediately set about raising standards.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:16 am 
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Rugby2023 wrote:
Torquemada 1420 wrote:
Many of you will correctly point out that this demise is thoroughly deserved but rugby really needs a healthy and competitive France. Trouble is if it isn't already too late, it will take a generation to make any real changes assuming anyone in charge has the vision or the will.

England have gone from roughly 60% winning ratio under Lancaster, to a 96% winning ratio under Jones.

Improvement can be that immediate and drastic if they can find someone to take it by the balls and immediately set about raising standards.

I don't think that it's an equivalence. The core/roots of English rugby were fine. Lancaster was just out of his depth. It's all in French but to give you and idea of how deep seated the problems and corruption are

http://www.lemonde.fr/rugby/article/201 ... 16937.html?

https://www.20minutes.fr/sport/2213631- ... aporte-ffr

Getting a decent intl coach would improve results (they could not get worse) but it would be papering over the chasms.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:10 pm 
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Wendigo7 wrote:
eldanielfire wrote:
CrazyIslander wrote:
French rugby is doing a great service to the sport of rugby. Tier 2 players can earn a living and still represent their country. You just need a Kiwi coach for the national team.


The players barely response to native french coaches and often rebel against them and don't listen. Would a foreign English speaking coaches get past that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrDJ6KfOy_Q&t=1038s

This video from the 1014 on how Jones' has coached sides, you can clearly see what to do and what not to do in the case of French Rugby.


I watched that yesterday, great video.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:20 pm 
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You've let your clubs overtake the national side in the minds eye of too many fans and players. I'm not certain there's an easy way back from that. Certainly not a quick one.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:23 pm 
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redderneck wrote:
You've let your clubs overtake the national side in the minds eye of too many fans and players. I'm not certain there's an easy way back from that. Certainly not a quick one.



Having a competent federation would have helped in not getting the path we have.

Too late. I dare say the federation is even worst now that it was 20 years ago.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:25 pm 
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piquant wrote:
Surely France would be one of the leading suppliers of professional rugby players in the world?

Problems for France are partly a mindset in how to approach the game, and the club Vs country issue which is still very much an issue for England too even if we've moved forwards a little with the EPS. Though I'd also add I don't know there's much wrong with French rugby when they've the biggest number of pro clubs, one of the largest playing pools going, and their clubs play in some great comps including the richest domestic league going.


The competitions might have great history, but they play shit rugby.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Zakar wrote:
Top 14 clubs are notorious for having a Laissez-faire attitude to fitness. It's endemic. Some "anglo" players hire their own PTs to keep their fitness up, as the clubs do fudge all fitness work. Some will aparently have a spread of wine and cheese on the sideline during team runs though, do that's nice :lol:


When Grenoble were promoted to the Top14 a few years ago, Bernard Jackman was involved int he coaching staff and said that they initially had some great results simply by focusing on the S& aspect of the squad. They didn't have the same numbers of marque players as more established Top14 clubs, but their conditioning won them lots of games.

Regarding attitude problems, there also seems to be a weird approach to away games. Players/clubs just don't seem to give a shit if they lose away from home to teams way below them in the league.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Nolanator wrote:
Zakar wrote:
Top 14 clubs are notorious for having a Laissez-faire attitude to fitness. It's endemic. Some "anglo" players hire their own PTs to keep their fitness up, as the clubs do fudge all fitness work. Some will aparently have a spread of wine and cheese on the sideline during team runs though, do that's nice :lol:


When Grenoble were promoted to the Top14 a few years ago, Bernard Jackman was involved int he coaching staff and said that they initially had some great results simply by focusing on the S& aspect of the squad. They didn't have the same numbers of marque players as more established Top14 clubs, but their conditioning won them lots of games.

Regarding attitude problems, there also seems to be a weird approach to away games. Players/clubs just don't seem to give a shit if they lose away from home to teams way below them in the league.


S& - typo, whats this Nardol?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:35 pm 
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La soule wrote:
redderneck wrote:
You've let your clubs overtake the national side in the minds eye of too many fans and players. I'm not certain there's an easy way back from that. Certainly not a quick one.



Having a competent federation would have helped in not getting the path we have.

Too late. I dare say the federation is even worst now that it was 20 years ago.

That's a real problem: the federation has always been a bigger evil than the clubs.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:43 pm 
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LandOTurk wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Zakar wrote:
Top 14 clubs are notorious for having a Laissez-faire attitude to fitness. It's endemic. Some "anglo" players hire their own PTs to keep their fitness up, as the clubs do fudge all fitness work. Some will aparently have a spread of wine and cheese on the sideline during team runs though, do that's nice :lol:


When Grenoble were promoted to the Top14 a few years ago, Bernard Jackman was involved int he coaching staff and said that they initially had some great results simply by focusing on the S& aspect of the squad. They didn't have the same numbers of marque players as more established Top14 clubs, but their conditioning won them lots of games.

Regarding attitude problems, there also seems to be a weird approach to away games. Players/clubs just don't seem to give a shit if they lose away from home to teams way below them in the league.


S& - typo, whats this Nardol?


M, clearly.








S&C - strength and conditioning


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Torquemada 1420 wrote:
Rugby2023 wrote:
Torquemada 1420 wrote:
Many of you will correctly point out that this demise is thoroughly deserved but rugby really needs a healthy and competitive France. Trouble is if it isn't already too late, it will take a generation to make any real changes assuming anyone in charge has the vision or the will.

England have gone from roughly 60% winning ratio under Lancaster, to a 96% winning ratio under Jones.

Improvement can be that immediate and drastic if they can find someone to take it by the balls and immediately set about raising standards.

I don't think that it's an equivalence. The core/roots of English rugby were fine. Lancaster was just out of his depth. It's all in French but to give you and idea of how deep seated the problems and corruption are

http://www.lemonde.fr/rugby/article/201 ... 16937.html?

https://www.20minutes.fr/sport/2213631- ... aporte-ffr

Getting a decent intl coach would improve results (they could not get worse) but it would be papering over the chasms.


But Torque, supposing the following XV fully healthy is the best possible currently for France:
Baille-Guirado-Slimani
Vahaamahina-Iturria
Gourdon-Picamoles-Ollivon(soon Macalou)
Dupont-Lopez
Fofana-Penaud
Nakaitaci-Dulin-Thomas

With a strong bench, could you not take that team and make it well drilled for the first time ever in this current era, and make them seriously competitive ? The cardio had not been a problem during the past 6 years, we never saw France break down physically and it wasn't fatigue but cluelessness that lost them all those games, and if the fitness isn't elite either the guys if anything when they do get tired, get tired because they're playing aimless one-off Rugby where other teams are focused and channel their efforts through the collective.
The players are coming in, every month there's a brand new face, and the U20 are full of interesting young talent, and at club level the French are doing well every year.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:58 pm 
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Dork Lard wrote:
Torquemada 1420 wrote:
Rugby2023 wrote:
Torquemada 1420 wrote:
Many of you will correctly point out that this demise is thoroughly deserved but rugby really needs a healthy and competitive France. Trouble is if it isn't already too late, it will take a generation to make any real changes assuming anyone in charge has the vision or the will.

England have gone from roughly 60% winning ratio under Lancaster, to a 96% winning ratio under Jones.

Improvement can be that immediate and drastic if they can find someone to take it by the balls and immediately set about raising standards.

I don't think that it's an equivalence. The core/roots of English rugby were fine. Lancaster was just out of his depth. It's all in French but to give you and idea of how deep seated the problems and corruption are

http://www.lemonde.fr/rugby/article/201 ... 16937.html?

https://www.20minutes.fr/sport/2213631- ... aporte-ffr

Getting a decent intl coach would improve results (they could not get worse) but it would be papering over the chasms.


But Torque, supposing the following XV fully healthy is the best possible currently for France:
Baille-Guirado-Slimani
Vahaamahina-Iturria
Gourdon-Picamoles-Ollivon(soon Macalou)
Dupont-Lopez
Fofana-Penaud
Nakaitaci-Dulin-Thomas

With a strong bench, could you not take that team and make it well drilled for the first time ever in this current era, and make them seriously competitive ? The cardio had not been a problem during the past 6 years, we never saw France break down physically and it wasn't fatigue but cluelessness that lost them all those games, and if the fitness isn't elite either the guys if anything when they do get tired, get tired because they're playing aimless one-off Rugby where other teams are focused and channel their efforts through the collective.
The players are coming in, every month there's a brand new face, and the U20 are full of interesting young talent, and at club level the French are doing well every year.


I'm agreeing with you. :x
But it won't fix the structural problems:
- unsustainable economic model for nearly every club with the consequent boom and bust for everyone bar Clermont
- too many foreigner journeymen sapping resource, blocking the route for Fre players (esp young ones) and on short contracts to they aren't there long enough to embed or pass on anything useful
- too many games = injuries, tedious rugby etc
- focus on bosh rather than skills from an increasingly earlier age
- corruption throughout

Do I need to continue?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:03 pm 
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Do I fucking look Dutch? :x


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