Following the departure of Raphael Ibanez from his position as a team manager, France is currently on the hunt for a new addition to their coaching staff. Ibanez had been working alongside Fabien Galthie since the 2019 Rugby World Cup disappointment, and the pair had played a crucial role in revitalizing French rugby. However, recent reports suggest that their relationship has broken down over disagreements that have not been resolved since the tournament ended.
The tension between Ibanez and Galthie has only been exacerbated by the actions of former Les Bleus player Richard Dourthe, who publicly criticized Galthie in an interview. Dourthe, who is also Ibanez’s brother-in-law, accused Galthie of avoiding important issues and taking issue with his coaching methods. The breakdown of their relationship has led to Ibanez likely taking on a role within the French Rugby Federation that will not be attached to the men’s side, with suggestions that he may work in the youth and/or women’s sections.
Galthie will have a relatively young team to work with for the 2024 Six Nations and will be without his captain Antoine Dupont, who is focusing on developing his sevens skills ahead of the Paris Olympics. Despite these challenges, Galthie remains determined to rebuild his coaching staff and lead France back to success on the international stage.