Galthie and Jalibert in firing line as ex Toulon owner blasts France

Galthie and Jalibert in firing line as ex Toulon owner blasts France

Former Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal says he fears France’s new coaching set-up no longer has the personalities that counteract head coach Fabien Galthie’s weaknesses.

France slumped to a record defeat to Ireland on Friday in the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations, a game which Boudjellal believes shows Les Bleus are still haunted by their World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of South Africa last year.

France have seen a change in the coaching set-up since the World Cup, with Laurent Sempéré and Patrick Arlettaz replacing Laurent Labit and Karim Ghezal, but Boudjellal feels the former coaches were specifically picked by former President Bernard Laporte.

In his Eurosport video series ‘Mourad de Toulon’, the vociferous former Toulon owner said he fears the Galthie who worked under him prior to joining France, who “never took the blame for mistakes,” could return.

“Last year we had Laurent Labit and Karim Ghezal who were chosen by Bernard Laporte because he had targeted the personality of Fabien Galthie,” Boudjellal said.



“Now that those coaches who Bernard Laporte brought in to counter-balance the weaknesses in Galthie’s character and could say ‘no’ to him have gone, I fear we will end up with the Galthie we knew at Toulon.

“That is to say a man who, generally speaking, puts people’s backs up in the dressing room very quickly.

“He is a great technician but he is not a great man manager.”

Boudjellal also criticised Galthie’s announcement that 80% of his 2023 World Cup squad will make the 2027 World Cup, which he not only worries will lead to an ageing squad, but will lead to players growing comfortable in their position.

The players were not spared the 63-year-old’s spleen though, with fly-half Matthieu Jalibert also being on the receiving end of the diatribe.

Boudjellal said that defence is something that is “totally foreign” to the Bordeaux-Begles No10 following the defeat.

France face Scotland on Saturday at Murrayfield, where they will seek to bounce back from the chastening defeat.


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