Blanco takes on role with Bleus

Date published: July 29 2014

FFR vice-president Serge Blanco has revealed that he will play a more active role within the French national team, to “support” the coach.

FFR vice-president Serge Blanco has announced that he is set to play a more active role within the French national team with the aim of “supporting” head coach Philippe Saint-André.

Les Bleus and their staff have come in for harsh criticism from all quarters after their dismal tour of Australia in June which saw them lose all three Tests, two of them by more than 25 points (50-23, 6-0 and 39-13).

Saint-André has the worst win percentage of any French coach in the modern era and calls for his head have been growing from the media and fans.

In an interview with Midi Olympique, former international full-back Blanco said he would step away from the day-to-day affairs of his club Biarritz (where he remains president) in order to give more attention to the XV de France.

“After talking with coaches and Pierre (Camou, president of the FFR) we decided that I will play a much more active role within the national team,” said Blanco.

“The mission will be, with other people, to accompany the national staff in their thoughts.”

Blanco added that while those thoughts would include the coach's “vision of the game plan” the goal was “not to encroach” on the work of his former France team-mate, and that PSA was “happy to be helped and supported.”

“I'm here to help – with people we choose – the XV de France and its coaches,” said Blanco, who won 93 caps for France as a player.

“It is useless to enter into a controversy with the coach who is being attacked from everywhere and who wants to reply [to the criticism].

“Well, we're going to protect him from that. This is not to police the coaches, or to give orders.”