• Christophe Urios has just published his second book,

    Une saison en enfer,

    in collaboration with Frédéric Rey-Millet.

    The UBB manager looks back on the season stopped by the Covid-19 epidemic.

  • Like his first book, it is mainly devoted to the management of men through rugby.

  • On this occasion, he agreed to have

    20 Minutes

    follow him for a whole day in order to allow us to understand how he became an expert in the field.

4:45 am. Not a minute more. This is what time the alarm clock strikes Christophe Urios every morning. If it may sting for some, not for him: "Since I was little it's like that, I sleep 4-5 hours a night," says the manager of Union Bordeaux-Bègles. Okay, this Tuesday morning, he left us a little bit of slack. He set the meeting at 7 a.m. at Ceva campus, the UBB training center. And in addition, he is waiting for us warm with a little coffee ... It will take a few to last the day.

A few days before the resumption of the Top 14 this Sunday (9 p.m.) against Racing 92, Christophe Urios exceptionally accepted that

20 Minutes

follow him for a whole day on the occasion of the release of his second book,

Une saison en enfer


This book, like the first, is mainly devoted to management, one of his three great passions with rugby and viticulture.

He made it his main strength.

To the point of having become an expert in the field and very regularly giving corporate conferences on the subject.

7am: Management is not innate

It is still dark when Christophe Urios welcomes us in his office for a first moment of discussions before the start of the day. Like his perfectly ironed shirt, his shiny dress shoes or his impeccable haircut, everything is drawn in line in his den. Not a file protrudes from its stack. Everything is under control. The day promises to be dense. Until 7 p.m., it will be dedicated to the club. A small break is then planned for dinner before going back to it in the evening to answer all the extras (emails, texts, other professional activities…).

  • “I'm there very early in the morning because it's already quiet. We are often much more efficient. But, above all, I need everything to be prepared and set in advance. When the guys arrive, everything should be ready. It's very important with a group of 45 players. I have to admit, I'm addicted to preparation. More generally on management, it was not innate to me. It came with time. At first, I read Seneca a lot [Roman philosopher, playwright and statesman] and then, as often, we draw inspiration from others. I read a lot of coaches at one time: Wenger, Guardiola, Klopp, Bielsa, Ancelotti or Deschamps… But today, I mainly read people who want to change the world. For example, Elon Musk, it's amazing what he wants to do. These people interest me. Me, I want to change the face of my job. And when I say thati don't have a big head, i'm just ambitious! "

7:30 am: A day in the quarter of an hour

As the players arrive for the compulsory Tuesday breakfast (like Thursday), the UBB manager begins his marathon of meetings.

A first of 30 minutes with his staff before several other 15 minutes, from 9 am, with the players.

Meetings that he runs in turn with his assistants before training (video, analysis of the opponent, etc.).

The day is constructed quarter of an hour by quarter of an hour.

It's millimeter, with very little downtime.

  • “Everything must be framed, we cannot be roughly if we want to put all the chances on our side.

    Rigor is essential.

    After that you have to give rhythm to the day otherwise you will fall asleep very quickly.

    This is essential.

    The meetings are short to capture the attention of the guys as much as possible and that also forces us, the staff, to keep it short and concise.

    Always with the objective of being as well prepared as possible to seize opportunities.

    It is not necessarily a question of method but more of state of mind.


8:30 am: HR Director Christophe Urios

That morning, he also set aside a beach for one-on-one interviews for his deputies. Him, it's Monday and Thursday. On Monday, he receives ten players, one by one. They all received a summons on Friday. They must self-assess before the meeting, on their weekend performance or their current status in the workforce. Thursday is to explain his choices to certain players for the match. 15-minute talks at the end of which the player and Christophe Urios set three objectives to be fulfilled in the coming weeks.

  • “I spend 70% of my time in management. But, this is absolutely not a problem for me since I love my players! I put no barrier between us. I need to be close to them. After, of course, we sometimes have more affinities with some, but the main thing is to be fair with everyone in the end. I believe I am. On a daily basis, you have to alternate between the '' I '' (the player) and the '' we '' (the team). It is capital. The team is important but it does not earn you titles. It is each player individually, being at their best, who will pull the team up and allow you to win titles. You really have to navigate between the two. "

UBB: "Management is 70% of my work", Christophe Urios takes up his pen to deliver his secrets https://t.co/wdvGMoBBs2 via @ 20minutesBord pic.twitter.com/SyKrOiQ5HB

- 20minutesbordeaux (@ 20minutesbord) October 4, 2019

10 a.m .: A door always wide open

It's time to get out on the pitch for the first time.

Christophe Urios puts on tracksuit, crampons… and shorts!

Yes, he can even go -15, you will always see him in shorts.

This Tuesday, he is accompanied by Erwan Lannuzel, coach of Bergerac Périgord Football Club, a club playing in National 2. His door is in fact always open and he welcomes some colleagues almost every week, often fascinated by the character.

On the program at the end of the morning, line training, that is to say the forwards on one side, the rear on the other.

  • "Well, I'm going to see the forwards, it's more my thing (laughs)"

12:30 p.m .: An outstanding storyteller

Direction the canteen.

Everyone is there.

Employees, players, coaches ... We even meet President Laurent Marti.

Cameron Woki prefers to tease his coach: "So it's about management over here"!

The third line of the XV of France has seen it right.

Christophe Urios reviews the strong principles of his management.

Outlines that this Powerpoint expert very often puts in pictures.

Sometimes with a lot of humor.

  • “We are not in a one-moment competition like a World Cup or the Olympics, our seasons are very long.

    Suddenly, the only question that matters is how I embark the guys with me for months on a project.

    I have to create an atmosphere to take them with me so that they are the best possible.

    For that, you have to tell stories!

    I walk in cycles of five or six games.

    Each cycle has its theme and above all, each match has its story.

    For Racing, the theme of the week is for example, "Be heroes".


2:30 p.m .: A manager, not a coach

Place the collective session of the day. Tuesday is good, it's the high intensity session. During the week, we can also find the session "moderate", "speed" or "strategy". These sessions, Christophe Urios participates very little to the surprise of the footballer Erwan Lannuzel. This is limited to a few speaking engagements. "Good, good, good", when it's going. And of course, the voice rises if the quality is not there. The rest is its staff who manage. As with the interviews, the sessions may seem short (30-45 minutes) but quality takes precedence over quantity.

  • “Me, my responsibility is not to help guys progress individually.

    This is the job of my staff.

    Me, I have to create an environment, an atmosphere so that the guys give themselves 300%, whether it is my staff or my players.

    And above all, that's all there is off the pitch.

    It is human management.

    Fortunately, I also talk to them a bit about the game. For example, I am the one who decides on the tactics of the match and who talks to them about it.

    On the composition of the team, we can discuss with the staff but I often have the last word.

    Making choices, I love it.


4 p.m .: The report to the media, one of his delicacies

Between two new meetings, one with its president, he has one last important meeting in his day. It's the press conference. Christophe Urios is an “excellent client” as the journalists say. In the increasingly sanitized world of top-level sport, it denotes. Without filters, his rants have become for some memorable. Since the start of the school year, he has also participated in a talk show on a major national radio station and he plans to work in the media after his career as a manager. He also recently created his own Twitter account.

  • “It's an integral part of my management.

    I prepare all my interventions.

    This is essential.

    I hardly hide anything.

    If I want to work well, to be able to convey messages, I must allow journalists to work in good conditions, to have material.

    This is why I am very open.

    I trust.

    Afterwards, we must not lie to each other, it's still a game. We must master it and especially not manipulate.

    On the other hand, I never speak of transfer because I consider that it is the job of my president or of the communication department.

    This is not mine.



Top 14: Urios will make his decision at the end of the year on his future at UBB


Top 14: UBB locks its nugget Matthieu Jalibert until 2025

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