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Simon Mannix nouveau sélectionneur du Portugal

Par Jérémy Fahner
L'entraîneur néo-zélandais Simon Mannix (IROZ GAIZKA/AFP via Getty Images).

L’ancien All Black et actuel directeur du rugby du Biarritz Olympique, Simon Mannix, prendra les rênes de l’équipe masculine du Portugal pour les quatre prochaines années, avec la Coupe du Monde 2027 en Australie en ligne de mire des Lobos.

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Pour succéder à Patrice Lagisquet qui avait guidé le Portugal jusqu’à la dernière Coupe du Monde, le choix s’est porté sur le Néo-Zélandais en raison de son CV impressionnant, de son expérience réussie à la tête de la Section Paloise (2014-2019) et de sa grande connaissance du système de jeu français, considérée comme vitale pour l’avenir de l’équipe.

Beaucoup de joueurs évoluant sous les couleurs portugaises possèdent en effet la double nationalité, française et portugaise, ou jouent pour un club français.

Mannix (52 ans, une sélection avec la Nouvelle-Zélande) a déjà travaillé avec certains des meilleurs joueurs portugaises, comme le demi de mêlée Samuel Marques, et a déjà une longue expérience de technicien. Son parcours l’a mené du Racing 92 au Munster, en passant par l’équipe nationale de Singapour et bien la Section Paloise, le club où il est resté le plus longtemps (cinq ans), lui permettant de remonter en Top 14 et de conquérir le titre de champion de France de Pro D2 en 2015.

Mannix également à la tête de la franchise des Lusitanos ?

En poste au BO depuis décembre 2023, il rejoindra donc la sélection lusitanienne dès la fin de saison. Il prendra la succession de Sébastien Bertrank, nommé en octobre et resté en poste à peine deux semaines avant de démissionner d’un commun accord avec le fédération portugaise. Depuis, c’est João Mirra qui assurait l’intérim pendant que la FPR travaillait avec World Rugby pour trouver le bon successeur au poste d’entraîneur principal.

Pour Mannix, le premier défi se présentera en juillet, lorsque le Portugal se rendra en Afrique pour affronter la Namibie et l’Afrique du Sud, double championne du monde en titre. On ne sait pas encore si l’ancien demi d’ouverture prendra également la tête de la franchise des Lusitanos, qui participera à la prochaine Rugby Europe Super Cup, cette compétition réservée aux pays européens émergents.

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Jon 28 minutes ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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Wonton 7 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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