France’s New Coaching Team Talk To The Press

The name Brunel is associated with achievements that defied established theories and practices creating breathtaking results still evident today.

I am of course referring to Isambard Kingdon Brunel, whose namesake Jacques, the new France coach, has agreed to undertake an engineering project that would have tested even the great mans capabilties.

Last week in Marcoussis, at the French National Rugby Centre, Jacques Brunel and his three coaching assistants faced the press.

The head coach spoke of his immediate aims:

“It really begins today with administrative formalities, with the press, with the club coaches with whom we will try to find a consensus on the work to be done on the players. We have the same goals, the player’s performance is at the centre, but very quickly, because we have very little time, we have to switch to the tournament and especially the first match. We’ll get to work right away.

“The mission will be to put the team of France where it has been often, namely to attempt every year to win the tournament, to be in the hunt on the last weekend to fight to claim to win the tournament.  This means that Ireland is fundamental to that goal. I do not plan on the World Cup. There are games to climb before. The World Cup is a special moment with a special preparation, a lot of time we can spend together. Today, what matters to me the Tournament and especially the first match. “

“The potential player exists, he is there, we will use a good part of what was in place. We will try to put them in the best conditions. It is certain that the accumulation of defeats did not strengthen this confidence, on the contrary it deteriorated. We will try to create an environment that makes them perform and they grab the few ideas that we will give them. We are going on a fairly simple basis, a framework in which they will be well. There is a rather special first match because Ireland has a particular type of game that we will have to answer. It is through working everyday, especially the first fifteen days that we will spend together, that we will be able to create the climate that will lead us to victory. “


Brunel commented on a possible future captain role for Guilhem Guirado.

The new coach assured “Midi Olympique” earlier, that he had decided to continue with the Toulon hooker, with whom he worked at Perpignan when they won the league title in 2009.

However, when questioned on this last Thursday he seemed to be hedging his bets.

“I can not say it right now, he will first have to be selected in the squad, if he is in the squad  I’ll have to talk with him,

“I do not know exactly how he coped with the captaincy, whether it’s a burden for him or not”

“I saw his investment in the role, he gave everything, we will make the decision when the time comes”.


“I feel a lot of pride and a little apprehension because I am aware of the difficulty of the task”.

“For now, contractually, I only committed for the duration of the Tournament. If all goes well, the rest will follow. I have already started working on the Irish Alignment, our first opponent of the Tournament “.


“It’s very exciting to coach both the teams from France and Lyon.

I will continue to keep an eye on my club, of course, but when I’m in France, it will be to get 100% involved. “


“It’s nice to be here. It’s a big challenge. We represent an institution, a country, it will be one of our first messages. The boys need to realize how lucky they are to be here. We must also regain confidence. The players have experienced disappointments, they have taken shots on the head. To work in defeat is never good. We want to restore their confidence. I arrive with a lot of desire. Rugby is my passion. “

Brunel’s 6 Nations Squad, and captain, will be announced on Thursday (January 18).

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