Former France internationals tear into Fabien Galthie after head coach was ‘eaten’ by Rassie Erasmus

Colin Newboult
Under pressure France head coach Fabien Galthie.

Under pressure France head coach Fabien Galthie.

Ex-France players Richard Dourthe and Cedric Heymans have slammed head coach Fabien Galthie following his midweek press conference.

The 54-year-old spoke for the first time since Les Bleus’ Rugby World Cup disappointment, which saw them eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

Galthie stated that they would be ‘scarred for life’ after succumbing in the last-eight of the World Cup, but Dourthe criticised the French boss for not giving an in-depth analysis into the reasons why they lost to South Africa.

Taking people for idiots

“This episode shouldn’t make us laugh,” he said on Canal +. “I think Fabien Galthie takes people for idiots. Everyone loves him, it’s perfect but they elude all the points that really interest us: why did we lose?

“Why were there so many injured? He smokes everyone with his data and I don’t think that’s what it means, respecting people who like rugby.

“Those who don’t follow rugby appreciate Fabien Galthie, because he has a good image, he knows how to speak, he is a professor of English philosophy… There are results that we cannot take away but in the end we did everything possible to be world champion.

“At the end we are as good as Fiji, Wales and we are a little better than Romania, Japan or Scotland.”

Ex-France hooker Benjamin Kayser was critical of Galthie following that quarter-final, stating that he was outplayed by Rassie Erasmus, and Dourthe echoed that view.

“Strategically and tactically, he was eaten by Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber because they planned everything that happened,” he said.

“They brought in Kwagga Smith, Handré Pollard to either manage the match or slow down the game… And that’s what happened, we got eaten!”

Heymans similarly scathing

Heymans was equally frustrated by what he heard during the week, with the former France back three player asking why the team’s strategy was not discussed.

“He doesn’t talk about subjects that raise questions. I don’t want to say that he is smoking us but it’s like the Raymond Devos sketch, ‘Speak to say nothing’,” he said.

“It’s not harsh but why don’t we have any questioning? The result is that we lose in the quarter-final by one point. We have no feedback on its management.

“Is there any questioning of his planning? What is the conclusion then if he does not spare himself from questioning himself since he does not want to change anything?

“When we lose a quarter-final by one point, by five points or 10 points, it’s not the same, because it means that we are overwhelmed.

“One point, we can talk about strategy, the bench, replacement. About how to manage your half-time. We don’t know that.”

READ MORE: Fabien Galthie says France will be ‘scarred for life’ after Rugby World Cup heartbreak