Thursday 8 December 2016

Yet another meltdown from France

Johnny O'Connor

Published 23/10/2015 | 02:30

France’s Thierry Dusautoir stands dejected after the final whistle of their defeat against New Zealand
France’s Thierry Dusautoir stands dejected after the final whistle of their defeat against New Zealand

It was another wake-up call for French rugby last weekend when the All Blacks knocked them out of the World Cup at the Millennium Stadium writes Johnny O'Connor.

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The Top14 league might be home to the best club side in Europe, Toulon, but the national team are just light years behind the rest of the world at the moment.

The coaching structure is a disaster and, just from talking to players who have played there, they know that France need to catch up. France are a sleeping giant. If they ever got their S&C right, and brought in a good coach, they could do real damage.

They have the potential to be the best rugby team in the world - they certainly have the players - but the system needs to be changed. There's too much left to chance at the moment, and it's the opposite of what we see here in Ireland.

I know Ireland got knocked out at the same stage, the quarter-finals, but at least the Irish showed they had something in the locker the week before.

Joe Schmidt has brought so much to Irish rugby, and God help the rest of the world if France ever get someone like him.

Irish Independent

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