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Ex-Portugal boss Patrice Lagisquet: What Os Lobos must do next

By Liam Heagney
Portugal celebrate their win over Fiji (Photo by Julian Finney/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Former Portugal coach Patrice Lagisquet has outlined what his future looks like in the game. The ex-France player was in charge of Os Lobos for four years, a tenure that culminated in a memorable Rugby World Cup appearance that included a pool win over quarter-finalists Fiji and a draw with Georgia.

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The so-called ‘Bayonne Express’ stepped away as head coach at the end of France 2023 and he has now revealed his frontline coaching career is over. “I finished quite tired,” he explained in a long-form interview on the rugbyworldcup.com website.

“For me, rugby is always a secondary activity. Right now, I’m preparing to retire from my insurance firm. I’m going to stop in 15 months. I’m going to do some training in clubs here and there, for fun, but no more than that.

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Jacques Nienaber on evolution and why he left international rugby

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Jacques Nienaber on evolution and why he left international rugby

Former Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has given his first Leinster press conference and at it spoke about how big a role family played in his decision to leave Test rugby. He also spoke about evolution and how it will take a while to get things right at Leinster.

“I know how committed it is to be in the national team and it’s taken up a lot of time, even mentally. You have to be very available; you have to have time and you have to stick with it.

“I also need to recover a little because I haven’t had a holiday for practically four years. So, I need to take a bit of a break.”

Lagisquet’s succession in Portugal isn’t yet settled. Sebastien Bertrank took over but he stepped down a month later, explaining that he had failed to appreciate the scale of the task ahead. What is the scale of that task in the eyes of Lagisquet?

The big problem with Portuguese rugby is that it is amateur, and the only way to make it evolve and have the ambition to ensure that the level of performance continues to improve is to have a professional team in Portugal, and that means the Lusitanos becoming a professional team.

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“If you look at Fiji’s progress, for example, that’s exactly what I mean. Fiji have players who play professionally in France. And they have the Fijian Drua (the Super Rugby Pacific franchise) which allows them to play at a very good level. And all that has enabled them to build a team that performs better and more consistently than they did before.

“We need the same thing for Portugal. The Lusitanos need to become professionals, who will play in the Super Cup and even try to play in a European Cup so that they have enough competition and players who are sufficiently prepared for international level.

“And we still need to continue to develop the skills of the best players, the best young Portuguese in French rugby by being professionals in France so that we have a sufficient professional base to continue to progress.”

  • Click here to read the entire Patrice Lagisquet rugbyworldcup.com interview
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mitch 49 minutes ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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