Fabien Galthie slammed for ‘disrespectful’ comments mocking French public

Colin Newboult
France head coach Fabien Galthie.

France head coach Fabien Galthie.

Fabien Galthie has been accused of “making fun” of France supporters following their much-needed Six Nations triumph over Scotland.

Les Bleus ended a run of two successive defeats after they claimed a 20-16 victory at Murrayfield last Saturday.

It eased the pressure slightly on the head coach, who has come under fire following their losses to South Africa and Ireland.

Lucky escape

They could have sustained three reversals in a row had the Scots’ last-minute try been awarded, but it was disallowed, much to the relief of the visitors.

Galthie was pleased with the win but former scrum-half Pierre Berbizier took aim at the France boss for his “ironic tone” after the Six Nations encounter.

“Out of respect for this Scottish team, this ironic tone bothers me a little. I have the impression that he was making fun of the journalists present, but by making fun of the journalists, he is making fun of us, of the public,” he told RMC Sport.

“It was not the time to make humour, if it was meant to be humour, given the scenario of the match, given the match against Ireland which followed the South Africa match. I was more expecting a low profile on his part.”

Berbizier also believes that Galthie’s record deserves more scrutiny despite the improvement of the team since he took over.

The head coach has helped revitalise Les Bleus’ fortunes, but it has only yielded one significant piece of silverware so far – the 2022 Six Nations title.

“The numbers, we can make them say what we want. We relied on good numbers, but in four years, we have won one tournament,” the 65-year-old said.

“That is not enough in my opinion, content must be approached differently. Our potential is enormous.”

Young talent

Berbizier has also urged Galthie to put his faith in the youngsters who transformed the match against Scotland.

Scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec replaced Maxime Lucu in the second period and made a significant impact, while Louis Bielle-Biarrey scored a magnificent individual try.

“From this match, I have an image: the initiative of Nolann Le Garrec and the try of Louis Bielle-Biarrey. It is a signal that this generation is knocking on the door and needs to express itself,” he added.

“Fabien Galthié wants to keep his continuity, why not, but this Test perhaps shows that these young people are ready for the next World Cup or in any case we should think about preparing them to be competitive for that tournament.”

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