. Eve Tiollier, nutritionist

"The little post-match beer that is used for recovery? It's a myth!" With Eve Tiollier, deviations are allowed... but not too much. The only woman in the coaching staff of the XV de France with her colleague Florence Mullié, she has a clear mission: "To ensure that, when the players arrive on the field, to train or for the match, they are in full possession of their means".

To achieve this, this researcher at Insep (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance) manages the nutrition of Les Bleus by developing the menus of Antoine Dupont and others. "We make sure that there is diversity, that there is quality," she told AFP. At the table, the 33 players summoned for the World Cup, like the staff, can choose from a variety of dishes: many vegetables of course but also chickpeas, white and red beans, fish, chicken or spring rolls, gyozas, pasta, rice, quinoa, pizza, savory pies ...

From Monaco to Capbreton via Marcoussis and Rueil-Malmaison, the XV of France will spend four months together. It is therefore necessary to vary the pleasures while taking into account the fact that "food is a vector of conviviality". "We don't come to eat backwards, it's really an important point in this team sport, (...) You have to know how to leave room for conviviality, cohesion, these team moments."

. Quentin Rinaldi, "sport scientist"

He is not 30 years old but he is indispensable to the Blues. Arrived in the coaching during the 2019 World Cup in the luggage of Fabien Galthié and Thibault Giroud, Quentin Rinaldi is there "to collect as much data as possible when the players are on the field or in the weight room" and transmit them to the coaches. Throughout the day's training session, numbers scroll on Quentin Rinaldi's computer and walkie-talkies crackle.

Quentin Rinaldi, "sport scientist" of the XV of France, poses in Seignosse in the Landes, France, before the Rugby World Cup, August 24, 2023 © Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

A discreet character, apart from his tattoos, including the Great Wave of Kanagawa, which testify to his time in Japan, Rinaldi is nevertheless an important member of the staff. He is often one of the first standing to send a "well-being" questionnaire to players and know their state of form (number of hours of sleep, body aches, fatigue, pain ...). "It's not that long since data and rugby are linked. Before, there was visual analysis but, since the 2010s, GPS has been installed," he told AFP.

In a France XV where data has become essential, Quentin Rinaldi is at the heart of the reactor: "The players are receptive, they ask us a lot of questions about it, we also question them sometimes, we try to raise their awareness."

. Bruno Boussagol, Health Manager

Behind his small round glasses, Bruno Boussagol manages, with the accent of the South, the medical cell: the health manager of the XV of France makes the link between the first circle of the management and the players, to bring up the glitches or injuries of the Blues.

Bruno Boussagol, health manager of the XV de France, during a training session at the Georges Carcassonne stadium in Aix-en-Provence, during the Rugby World Cup in France, September 26, 2023 © Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

Former physiotherapist of the MHR, former director of the physiotherapy school in Montpellier, he met Fabien Galthié during his stay in the Hérault (2010-2014). At the bedside of the France team since 2019, Boussagol carries out transversal work with physiotherapists, nutritionists, the doctor but also the physical trainers and all the other members of the management.

"If we want to treat the players, we have to have their confidence. My role is to know the player, his environment, his sensitivity...", summarizes the one who took Anthony Jelonch on a hike of more than twenty kilometers on the Salagou and largely participated in his express return, six months after his serious knee injury.

© 2023 AFP