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Gavin Mortimer Few Anglophone rugby writers have such an intimate (and painful) knowledge of French rugby as Gavin Mortimer. Having been gouged, butted and stamped during two seasons as a player in the deep south of the country, Gavin now prefers the more sedate pastime of writing about the state of the game in France. Over the years he's interviewed the likes of Bernard Laporte, Frederic Michalak and Antoine Dupont, and he also provides co-commentary for Canal Plus's English language coverage of the Top 14.

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

The French disconnection

French referees are different to Anglophone ones – as Bernard Foley discovered to his, and Australia's cost

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Dupont or Ollivon? The battle to be the boss of Les Bleus

French rugby is on a roll and head coach Fabien Galthie now has to choose his captain for the World Cup, it's a straight shoot-out…

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Bernard Laporte: Influential, inspirational and in the dock

French rugby is back at the summit of world rugby but politics threatens to engulf its most influential individuals a year out fro…

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Yoram Moefana: France's silent assassin

Hailing from Futuna, a tiny French-speaking South Pacific Island, the Bordeaux-Bègles centre is quietly making waves in Fabien Ga…

OPINION
Gavin Mortimer

Zach Mercer has usurped Jonny as France's favourite Englishman

The former Bath No 8 has taken the Top 14 by storm with Montpellier and he's been tipped to go to another level

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Will Fabien Galthie unearth more gold nuggets in Japan?

French rugby is on the crest of a wave and they know they can afford to take an understrength squad to Japan and rest their bigges…

OPINION
Gavin Mortimer

French offer lukewarm response to South Africa's inclusion in the Champions Cup

There is disquiet in France about the inclusion of South African sides in the Champions Cup with some feeling it has been foisted …

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Brain not brawn: the renaissance of Top 14 coaches

The traditional image of a hot-headed, combustible French coach has been replaced by a more reflective, intellectual coach that ha…

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

French rugby points to England's broken system as the gulf between the Top 14 and ProD2 widens

French rugby's second division dwarfs the Championship in England both in terms of revenue and crowd numbers but there are still c…

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Return of the Saint

Philippe Saint-Andre was left battered and bruised from his experiences with Les Bleus but he has proved doubters wrong by guiding…

Gavin Mortimer

France gets its act together while England bemoans structural failings

French political infighting brought the game to its knees but after a period of stability, results have seen the public fall back …

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Six Nations: Gael Fickou's ascendancy to French defensive lynchpin

The Racing 92 midfielder is the glue that knits a backline of superstars together and at 27, his best years lie ahead of him

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Emmanuel Macron hoping for a Grand Slam election bounce

Sport and politics do mix, and sometimes decide elections, which is why Emmanuel Macron is praying for French success in the Six N…

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

Liberte, egalite, vaccine?

New laws state that professional rugby players in France are no longer free to play if they haven't been triple vaccinated

OPINION
Gavin Mortimer

Warming the bench for a once-in-a-generation talent

The little-known players toiling in the shadows of giants.

INTERVIEW
Gavin Mortimer

Josh Brennan adds French accent to rich Irish heritage

The name and the accent are Irish but the heart of rising Toulouse star Josh Brennan belongs to France

ANALYSIS
Gavin Mortimer

France v All Blacks: Over the Rainbow?

When French secret service agents sunk Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour in 1985, they fuelled a long rivalry wit…

OPINION
Gavin Mortimer

Antoine Dupont: Can Les Bleus' GOAT inspire 2023 glory?

Antoine Dupont is already the greatest player in French rugby history. Can he keep his focus as the spotlight intensifies?

Gavin Mortimer

Break down the language barrier

It’s not fair to France that referees speak only English but will World Rugby translate that into action?

Gavin Mortimer

Rags to riches

Montpellier owner Mohed Altrad has overcome a traumatic upbringing to become rugby's biggest powerbroker

Gavin Mortimer

The rise and fall of Toulon

The dynasty built by Mourad Boudjellal has crumbled since he opted out and it is a shadow of its former self

Gavin Mortimer

Baby Bleus widen Galthie's 2023 talent pool

France lost a tight series Down Under but there were enough longer-term positives to please coach Fabien Galthié

Gavin Mortimer

France's tour of hotel hell

A callow French squad prepare to embark on their grinding voyage to Australia

Gavin Mortimer

The empire strikes back

After a decade of decline, Toulouse are on the brink of a new era of European domination.

Gavin Mortimer

Bright Vannes man

Nick Abendanon is a shining example of how overseas players should adapt to life in France

Gavin Mortimer

French renaissance artist

Little-known coach Didier Retière has led the revival in France's fortunes

Gavin Mortimer

Singing the Bleus

For all France's development, they will not win the next World Cup without a top-class goal-kicker.

Gavin Mortimer

The French evolution

After a decade of turmoil, things are finally looking up for Les Bleus.

Gavin Mortimer

Fun and games

Bernard Le Roux has been given a new lease of life by France's youngsters

Gavin Mortimer

Love Islanders

Les Bleus are looking to Pacific territories for talent, but will it bring heartbreak for young players in France?

Gavin Mortimer

Seeing red

A rash of Top 14 red cards, has seen many French commentators call for more flair and less flare

Gavin Mortimer

French education

Gabriel Ibitoye left Harlequins for a new challenge and he's making headlines at Agen

Gavin Mortimer

Storm clouds gather

Bernard Laporte's arrest has led to claim and counterclaim to further muddy French political waters

Gavin Mortimer

Speed of light

A leap of faith has seen Cheslin Kolbe’s renaissance as a World Cup winner

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