• Sometimes talkative, sometimes laconic, Fabien Galthié is not always easy to follow in his communication.

  • Able to switch in a few words from a managerial language to an ode to the land, the coach never speaks at random.

A pair of very cheerful Danty-Fickou centers. A third Cros-Alldritt-Jelonch line cut to fight. It is with a very muscular formation that the XV of France intends to give throat to the All Blacks revenge, Saturday in Saint-Denis. However, Fabien Galthié chose a completely different register to close his press conference on Thursday in Marcoussis. "It's a game, it's childhood," replied the coach, asked about how he lived this last week of the November test matches. There is always the child who is there deep inside us, who remains present. "

Since the start of his mandate, after the 2019 World Cup crossed as Jacques Brunel's assistant, the 52-year-old technician has alternated in front of the media between sometimes surprising lyrical flights and extremely prosaic words (the reminder of the average age and selections after each composition for example).

🎙️ This afternoon, @FGalthie and @ibanez_raphael revealed the composition of our team to play Saturday night against the @AllBlacks at @StadeFrance!

#FRANZL #NeFaisonsXV #XVdeFrance



The best moments of the press conference!

👇

- France Rugby (@FranceRugby) November 18, 2021

The tone is calm, the sentences interspersed with silences, a thousand leagues from the submachine gun flow of his distant predecessor and current president of the FFR Bernard Laporte, a true Occitan Eminem.

Certain expressions have become as emblematic of the Galthié era as his curious glasses, such as the “finishers” (we used to say “replacements”) or the famous “arrow of time”, supposed to be on the roof of the world one final night. at the Stade de France, October 28, 2023.

Did you say "language elements"?

“I don't think so, replies Max Guazzini, former president of Stade Français, who remained very close to his former scrum-half and coach.

Fabien is like that.

He reflects, he analyzes.

He does not speak differently in front of the players or in front of other people.

"

Promises while waiting for the big victories

The “arrow of time” finds a concrete translation in Marcoussis, where it is displayed on a wall of the National Rugby Center (CNR).

The 18 matches played since the 2020 VI Nations Tournament are retraced, each with, in addition to the score, a reminder of the flagship action, the most beautiful try and the key man.

For almost two years, the XV of France has not yet won any competition.

But fed by an almost inexhaustible fountain of talent, he won back an audience scalded by nearly a decade of disappointments, between promises on the ground and openness outside.

The tricolor management thus aired a selection that had closed in on itself, with more training accessible to the public and to the media, during which the staff does not seek to blur the lines as to the future composition of team.

From a different generation than his predecessors Guy Novès and Jacques Brunel, Galthié does not forget the notion of terroir, as inseparable from rugby as Paquito is from the third half.

Is a pledge going to get his first cape?

The best player in the world in 2002 salutes his training club: Lombez-Samatan (Gers) in the case of Toulouse winger Matthis Lebel before France-Georgia "and his educators like Mr. Trémouilles, if he hears us".

For a year, the numbers of 23 French players have contained the names of the country's 1,941 amateur clubs, hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.

From Montgesty to Marcoussis, via Hossegor

To inaugurate his mandate, the native of Cahors invited the press to the town hall of Montgesty, his childhood village in Quercy, where he had just held a seminar with his staff. With local products to eat and drink. A month later, it was in Hossegor that a second meeting took place, on the Landes lands of the manager of the Blues Raphaël Ibañez.

More withdrawn from the media, the ex-hooker remains an essential link in the blue system, the one that opens press conferences. Former captain of the XV of France (like Galthié), Ibañez also has a great experience as a TV consultant. There too, like Galthié, passed by Canal + then by France 2, where he covered (among others) the matches of the Blues for ten years, until 2019. A passage in front of the microphone not really destabilizing for the current one breeder, accustomed to increasing the number of interventions in companies.

“He gave a lot of lectures,” Guazzini recalls.

He was greatly appreciated for the way he spoke.

He has a real gift.

"If he has eased off since the start of his mandate, Galthié still gave two videoconferences at the beginning of 2021 with the Paris School of Business, to discuss his career and then develop the concept of" passion "with students, with examples" inspiring "(Mozart, Maradona ...) and life advice to support:" When you decide and what you do, it's okay to make a mistake.

At least you tried.

"

"When you say" hello "to him, it's Nasa"

These seminars find an echo in the regular interventions of personalities with the Blues (and the Blue) at the CNR of Marcoussis, which hosted in turn this week Emmanuel Macron and Jean Dujardin. Long vice-president at Capgemini Consulting, specialist in "management and collective performance", Galthié does not leave much to chance. “Fabien is always in perfection, asserts Jean-Luc Sadourny, former back of the XV of France and fellow traveler near Colomiers. He focuses on the details. And when you say "hello" to him, it's Nasa. He's already analyzing you. "

“He watches all the Top 14 matches, several at the same time,” said Max Guazzini.

I don't know how he does it.

Ditto when it comes to communication.

The coach keeps abreast of everything that is said or written about him or his team, whether the sky is clear or downright stormy.

And he adapts accordingly: he had thus remained silent for twenty-five days before reacting publicly during the so-called “breakthrough bubble” affair, during the last Six Nations Tournament.

Action reaction

This fall, when on the eve of France-Georgia,

L'Equipe

relayed the discomfort of some players on the list of 42 Blues, tired of commuting between Marcoussis and their club, the Lotois replied a few hours later in front of the media, citing the Lyonnais Geraci and Cretin, the Racingman Diallo, the Montpellier Bécognée or the Rochelais Dulin: “We must salute their presence and salute the fact that on Wednesday evening they are told that they are returning.

These players know very well that if there is an injury, they come in and play.

"

It is also a way of showing that the former Parisian coach, Toulon and Montpellier, a divisive character in French rugby, does not forget the players he does not use, as he may have been criticized when he coached in a club.

Internal communication does not always go through the press. Under his mandate, in international period, players and staff of the Blues meet once a week for workshops in groups of ten. On the menu, technique, but also other themes, such as the “sacred” (understand: the identity of the XV of France). The theme is recurrent and recalls the "pact" asked of the players at the beginnings of Galthié's mandate. A workshop also deals with “images and words”, not only in the media, but also in connection with social networks, match audiences and the events that punctuate the life of the group.

Whether addressed within the group or to the rest of the world, the coach's communication is as thoughtful as it is fragile by nature, because it is extremely dependent on the results.

If they can, the All Blacks will not hesitate to seriously damage the "arrow of time".

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  • All Blacks

  • Rugby

  • Sport

  • Communication

  • Fabien Galthie

  • New Zealand

  • XV of France

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