Novès moving France on from RWC disaster

Date published: January 27 2016

Part of the first few weeks in the Guy Novès era have been to help France move on from their calamitous World Cup exit last year.

France crashed out in the quarter-finals with a 62-13 defeat to eventual champions New Zealand, the largest even margin of victory in a World Cup knockout match.

Novès knows that whilst that night in Cardiff was a poor display, it's not the end of the world.

"The New Zealand game, we have to stop talking about," Novès said.

"In the past with my club I’ve had some big losses but the experience has shown me that players have the qualities; and in life it’s the same. You have difficulties and you have to bounce back.

"If we keep talking about how France lost by a big amount, it’s tiresome. But we are looking to the future. These players have all had success with France or with their clubs. We had an off-day."

Getting across his message to the players is the next step for Novès and his coaching staff, who have limited time with the squad so far since taking over.

After more downs than ups during the reign of his predecessor, Philippe Saint-André, Novès want his team to play rugby that France can be proud of again.

"Time will tell if the players understand really where we want to go. It would be presumptuous to say in a couple of days that we have transformed the game the way we want to do," Novès added.

"With my staff, over the last few weeks, we’ve tried to theorise to present the game plan to the players so they can take it in as quickly as possible and apply it on the field.

"If they can do that we want them to express all their personality so the French fans can be proud of them.

"I say this with a lot of humility. We have a long way to go but it’s not an ambition, we have a responsibility. We know it will be very difficult."

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