in Lille, Florian Grill opens the post-Laporte era to the French Rugby Federation

Florian Grill, during the general meeting of the FFR, July 1, 2023 in Lille.

Some predicted a “cohabitation presidency”after his election, but Florian Grill launched, Saturday 1er July, a new era for the French Rugby Federation (FFR), and felt that it “is and will be governable”. Elected on June 14 to replace Bernard Laporte – who resigned at the end of January – the new president of the FFR announced a “project over eight to ten years” during the general assembly of the body governing French rugby, in Lille.

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The former president of the league of Ile-de-France, long figure of the opposition against Laporte, exposed to have “tightened” to twelve members the federal office, against sixteen previously. Among them, seven are members of his group “Ovale ensemble”, and five are from the former governance. “That’s 58% for Oval together, or the election result, that would make sense”anticipated Florian Grill last week, in an interview with, insisting again on its “willingness to appease” after months of stress.

Before the general assembly, Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR and loyal to Bernard Laporte, announced Tuesday to resign from “all its functions”, in order to ” leave room “ to the new governance. “If you could sum things up in one sentence, I would say that until now I felt like part of the solution and now I feel like part of the problem”, explained the former pillar to Agence France-Presse. Elected since 2016 and the first term of Bernard Laporte, Serge Simon was vice-president in charge of high performance, and therefore as such of the French teams.

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He will be replaced in this position by another former player, Jean-Marc Lhermet, Florian Grill’s right-hand man for years, who is entering the federal office, just like Abdelatif Benazzi, appointed deputy vice-president for international affairs.

A balanced budget, despite a large deficit

If Patrick Buisson, candidate beaten by Mr. Grill during the election for the presidency, also announced his departure from the federal office – retaining his place on the steering committee (40 members) – all the former leaders of the he team in place until mid-June did not do the same. Former treasurer of the FFR, Alexandre Martinez, appointed interim president after the resignation of Laporte at the end of January, accepted the hand extended by the new president, and was responsible for finalizing the 2023 World Cup (September 8-October 28). ) in France, to complete this project, won by the former team.

“I reject this term of opposition, like that of majority or cohabitation. It’s too politicizedFlorian Grill insisted this week. It’s not like we’re light years apart. On many subjects, I subscribe to a certain form of continuity in the level of reforms already voted. »

If the provisional budget voted at the general meeting of the FFR (and approved by 79%) is in balance, the leader of French rugby has highlighted a particularly high deficit. “There are operating losses of around 13 million euros”, noted Florian Grill. A hole filled by the ” exceptional result “ linked to the entry of the CVC investment fund into the capital of the Six Nations Committee (also 13 million). “I would rather CVC money be used to invest rather than pay off debts”he underlined, believing that it will be ” essestial “ for the FFR of “find new sources of funding” before presenting a “revised budget” in December.

Wishing to see rugby, the second sport with the most media coverage in France but only in tenth position at the level of licensees (324,326 in May 2023), develop further, the new president assured to be “in the process of building a project over eight to ten years”, integrating more territorial networking and the transformation of the FFR into a “mission federation”in order to “to attract new volunteers”. In just over two months, the World Cup on French soil could serve as the first revealer.

The World with AFP


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