Former France boss sends warning to Fabien Galthie over potential player rebellion

David Skippers
Guy Noves and Fabien Galthie image 2024.jpg

Former France boss Guy Noves and Fabien Galthie who is Les Bleus' current head coach.

Former France head coach Guy Noves has criticised Les Bleus and their current boss Fabien Galthie over the side’s poor overall performance in the 2024 Six Nations.

After winning a Grand Slam in 2022 and finishing second behind Ireland last year, France have found the going tough during this year’s Six Nations Championship and are currently languishing in fourth spot in the standings with just six points amassed from three matches played.

Indifferent form

This after they lost their tournament opener to Ireland in Marseille, before claiming a narrow but controversial victory over Scotland at Murrayfield and were then held for a draw against Italy in Lille on Sunday.

And Noves believes Les Bleus‘ current poor form can be linked to their underwhelming campaign at last year’s Rugby World Cup on home soil when the team went into the global showpiece being overconfident and giving France’s rugby public a feeling of invincibility ahead of that tournament.

“We lulled the whole of French rugby with the illusion that there was an ambient discourse maintained by the players, the staff and the media,” he said in an interview with Le Parisien.

“We had the impression that we were champions of the world before we played and the candy was taken out of our mouths while we were tasting it.”

Noves was also critical of Galthie who he feels is being given leeway from his players and drew a comparison between Galthie’s stint as head coach and his own tenure in charge of France between 2015 and 2017.

“During my tenure, I did not receive the tolerance that exists today in the French team.” added the 70-year-old. “I find it normal that he tries to maintain this unity that he has managed to create.”

Earlier in the week, French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Florian Grill said Galthie is not under threat of losing his job despite their underwhelming form in the Six Nations.

However, Noves feels that situation could change if France’s players turn on their coach.

“If they [the players] let him go, it’s over,” he said. “So, he had better protect them. Should we believe everything he says in his interviews?

Understands Galthie’s attitude

“We believe what we want up to a point, but I understand his attitude.”

Noves said although France’s form under Galthie has been indifferent, a lot will depend on how they finish the Six Nations.

“The assessment is the assessment. Now, we have to look the content. Sometimes, we were dominant, extremely dominant even, and we snatched matches based on a few things,” he added.

“A defeat or a victory by one point, it’s the same thing sometimes. We also have to look the content and the behaviour of the players. So to say whether it’s misleading or not, we’ll see what happens next.”

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