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French federation backs Fabien Galthie despite Rugby World Cup defeat

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The French Rugby Federation (FFR) said on Monday that head coach Fabien Galthie was the right man to lead the team despite the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat on home soil.

Highly-fancied France were knocked out of the competition by holders South Africa 29-28 on Sunday.

Galthie, 54, took over in December 2019 and reinvigorated an under-achieving team.

The former France captain has guided Les Bleus to a first Six Nations title in more than a decade as well as impressive Test wins over New Zealand and the Springboks.

“He is the right person for the years to come,” the FFR’s president Florian Grill said.

“The result of one night is not going erase four exceptional years,” he added.

Galthie has signed a new contract until June 2028 with team manager Raphael Ibanez, defence coach Shaun Edwards and scrum specialist William Servat staying on.

Changes in other coaching positions were announced before the World Cup.

Patrick Arlettaz will take over from Laurent Labit in charge of the attack, Laurent Sempere replaces Karim Ghezal at the helm of the lineout while Nicolas Jeanjean is promoted to head of conditioning with the influential Thibaut Giroud leaving.

“There is no problem concerning Fabien, on the contrary,” Grill said.

“We’re delighted to work with him.

“The work he has done reinforces that 200 per cent,” he added.

Grill replaced the disgraced Bernard Laporte at the helm of the FFR earlier this year after the former France head coach received a two-year suspended prison sentence for corruption.

Laporte was also replaced as World Rugby vice-chairman, leaving France without a representative on the institution’s executive board.

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They maintain their three positions on World Rugby’s council, like nine other national unions.

“I think we are political dwarves at the level of international bodies,” Grill said.

“France holds no weight at the international level, I’m convinced of that.

“And that’s one of the big takeaways,” he added.

AFP

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