Novès lays out plan for spectacular France

Date published: November 2 2015

France will look to play a more expansive brand of rugby to bring back the fans according to new coach Guy Novès.

The former Toulouse boss officially took over from Philippe Saint-Andrè on Sunday, and has a task of rebuilding France after a disastrous four years.

They have not won a Six Nations title since 2010, their longest run since the 1950s, while they equalled their worst-ever performance at World Cup as they were humiliated by New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

What is worse, is that France have become a dull team to watch, a complete contrast to their reputation over the years, and Novès believes they should look at the example of Argentina as a team who have chosen to play more rugby in recent seasons.

"I've seen some things that were extremely positive coming from the work of the last four years," he told AFP

"I've also seen things which were less positive. Firstly I'm going to try to put in place a style of rugby which corresponds to my education. 

"My first aim is to try to play a style of rugby of the future, which attracts spectators to the ground, spectacular rugby. I would like us to use the whole pitch, the width and play with movement, taking our inspiration from Argentina, who for me are a real example.

"There's no point talking about New Zealand, they are so far ahead."

France's problems have been well-documented, with the interests of the powerful clubs and national team rarely aligned.

Novès will experience those issues first-hand, with less time with his players than predecessor Saint-André, this season at least, while next year's June tour to Argentina will take place without any of the Top 14 semi-finalists.

He appreciates that there are two different tasks he must carry out, both in the short-term and looking further forward, but Novès intends to get on with both and try to turn things around.

"We've got to work on the basics to be better armed for the future, it's an important question that we are going to think about," he added. 

"There is an immediate response that we have to find but also a longer-term one that we will work on with Pierre Camou and the leaders in the FFR. 

"I'll also work with Didier Retière to work on development. It's part of my life, I spent 20 years as a PE teacher in a school. 

"Rather than talk about the problems, I'm going to adapt to my conditions. I was born in a club, I haven't suddenly changed and I think lots of good work is done in clubs. Now, if French rugby wants to play a role in international rugby, perhaps the clubs have to make some effort.

"So far we've realised that the organsiation as it stands makes it difficult to combine the interests of France and the clubs. But I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to work. I'm not discovering the unknown, I applied to be French coach and I'll assume my responsibilities.

"I will be able to express myself on certain points and will do so as long as I'm in place, in the interest of the national team, but while respecting the clubs."