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Fabien Galthie faces sack before end of the Six Nations

By Ian Cameron
France's coach Fabien Galthie looks on ahead of the Six Nations rugby union international match between France and Italy at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille, northern France, on February 25, 2024. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)

RTE rugby pundit Bernard Jackman has forecasted a grim future for France’s head coach – Fabien Galthie – suggesting his likely dismissal before the culmination of the Guinness Six Nations.

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This speculation follows France’s latest underwhelming performance in Lille, where they narrowly avoided defeat against Italy, managing only a 13-13 draw in Round 3 of the competition. The match saw France reduced to 14 men for the second half, allowing Italy to mount significant pressure and nearly clinch a historic victory.

Italian fly-half Paolo Garbisi’s penalty strike against the post in the dying moments of the game left the outcome hanging in a tense balance, ultimately resulting in a draw.

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France 7s captain Paulin Riva on Antoine Dupont joining the 7s squad

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France 7s captain Paulin Riva on Antoine Dupont joining the 7s squad

With the bar set so high for this French team, their struggle to dominate in a match where they were heavily favoured has raised more questions about their direction under the 54-year-old Galthie’s stewardship.

Former Grenoble head coach Jackman believes that knives will be out for Galthie in France, who has been under the kosh since France’s quarter-final exit from the Rugby World Cup.

“I’d be surprised if Fabien Galthie is there by the end of the Six Nations,” Jackman stated, reflecting the disappointment and frustration felt by many French rugby fans and commentators alike. The former Ireland hooker also projected the French press will be going in hard on the enigmatic head coach, who just 12 months ago was the toast of France.

There’s a growing concern over France’s campaign and Galthie’s leadership in the absence of super-star scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, who is now playing on the SVNS circuit.

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As the Six Nations heads towards its final two weekends, all eyes will be on the French camp, with pressure on the misfiring team to win their final two games against England and Wales.

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Comments

19 Comments
S
Simon 149 days ago

Jackman is a former coach of so many second rate teams, it should be taken into account whenever he tries to comment of anything to do with rugby. In other words, he is not a successful coach and his opinion should be disregarded by anyone who has the misfortune to read!

f
finn 150 days ago

This would seem a bit premature. If France lose to England or Wales (which they might) then he will probably lose his job, but if they win both of those games then the conversation will change.

France are still the 4th best team in the world, and have by far the best balanced and deep squad in the world. In part that is because of the fantastic strength in depth the Top 14 provides, but it’s also because of the incredible job Galthié has done as a selector.

I would like to see Galthié see the job through, but leaving my sentimentality aside; if he is sacked who would do better? The best coaches in France are Lancaster and O'Gara, but would the French appoint a foreign coach? Beyond those two, Yannick Bru and Ugo Mola are probably the next cabs off the rank, but I’m not convinced either of them are international quality.

R
Red and White Dynamight 150 days ago

Deserved more from the officials in the RWC QterF. Etzebeth was more than “lucky, very very lucky” (Nigel Owen as an official WR ‘expert’ - as close as you’ll ever get to acknowledgment that the ref got it wrong) and the illegal chargedown from Kolbe (no TMO review, he was clearly over the line before the kicker moved). France are forever fickle and it was an extraordinarily good game but France were right to feel robbed. Imagine if the tables were turned, Bok fans would be burning effigies forever.

B
Bob Marler 150 days ago

yup. The writing’s been on the wall for some time.

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