Fabien Galthié sketches his roadmap at the head of the XV of France

It is in the village of Montgesty, cradle of his family, that Fabien Galthié presented his staff for the XV of France. PASCAL PAVANI / AFP

"They have never seen so many people in Montgesty. " Coming from Lavercantière, 8 km away, Françoise Feliu would have missed for nothing in the world this day when Montgesty, 335 inhabitants, in the heart of the Lot, improvised "France's center of rugby". Wednesday, November 13, around 11 am, there was almost a traffic jam of pedestrians in the main street of the village, all come to respond to the invitation of Fabien Galthié, the new coach of the XV of France.

In terms of greening, difficult to do better than the village, stronghold of the family Galthié. Looking for "Authenticity, calm and serenity", the former captain of the Bleus has chosen, to launch his mandate, he places under the sign of a return to fundamentals, to organize the first seminar of his new staff on the "Lands of his childhood".

Thanks to "Mr. Mayor", Jean-Noël Galthié – only to the civilian, he calls " dad " -, the technician summoned the ban in the municipal hall of Montgesty to present his project for the Blues for the next four years.

So of course, Montgesty does not have a rugby club. And Fabien Galthié, if he is a native of Cahors, remains a child of Tournefeuille, in the outskirts of Toulouse, where his family settled, and where his father has invested in the rugby club. This gives the operation the appearance of an upright setting to mark the occasion.

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"Since Sunday, we started to build a roadmap whose purpose is to regain, quickly, matches and titles, to return to the top 3 in the world," presents Fabien Galthié. After years of scarcity, and a quarter-final elimination of the last World Cup against Wales, France aspires to "To become a major nation again" oval, chained Raphael Ibanez, former captain and new general manager of the Blues.

After having "Scraped together" on the fields, the two men make up a pair "As an evidence" : in Galthie the field, in Ibanez what is around and outside, starting with relations with clubs, not inclined to let go of their players.

«Redefining the identity of French rugby»

If Montgesty shelters a "chapel of the blue Penitents", the French frame is not "Come to confession" in the Lot, smiles Fabien Galthié, who took the pulse of the XV of France during the preparation for the last World Cup, as Jacques Brunel's assistant. He does not want to make a clean sweep of the past, but "Lay everything flat" and rebuild on it.

In addition to Galthié and Ibanez, the staff of the French team is now composed of English Shaun Edwards, in charge of defense, Laurent Labit, for the rear, Karim Ghezal and William Servat, for the front, and Thibault Giroud, responsible performance.

If it sketched what Galthie and Ibanez intend to do, including mobilizing 42 players per rally – which goes through a new effort to compensate clubs for the absence of their players – this entry will not have allowed to go into the details of the new blue project.

We will retain the will of Galthie to establish "Smart rugby, able to adapt", in order to cope with "Very disruptive international rugby". Understand, be able to create sparks on the ground. " A line that goes faster, more two-sided, more intelligent replacement ", sums up the defense specialist, Shaun Edwards, debauchee of the Welsh XV.

"We must redefine the identity of French rugby", insists Raphael Ibanez. A DNA where the "Ability to improvise", found at times during the World Cup, will have its place, but "In a framework to build together", says Fabien Galthié. With five pedestals to erect: "Our rugby, our project, our path, our identity and our requirement. "

The title in 2023, an unseen objective

Filigree of the order of mission of the Blues, the goal of a world coronation at home, in 2023, is not evoked. "We did not set time or competition, insists the coach. We want to win games, fast. " One way to relieve the pressure.

Some changes are already underway, including a first step towards a mental preparation for meetings, which was precluded by his predecessor. "We started to work with a facilitator, not a mentor or a guru, who has an approach that allows to release the energies and to chase the harmful thoughts, which arrive quickly at the high level", unveiled Galthie.

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In four weeks, the staff of the Blues will chained in the landaise house of Ibanez. By then, he will have completed the list of 75 players to whom he intends to appeal. A list of five players per post, based on the recent globalists and "Potentials that will be revealed", aiming to "Limit turnover" for "Create complicity".

At the end of 2023, at the time of taking stock of the quadrennial of Fabien Galthié at the head of the Blues, perhaps we will write that "Everything started in Montgesty". But like the slopes of the Lot that lead there, the road is long and winding until then.


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