As the Rugby World Cup in France looms this year (September 8-October 28), Raphaël Ibanez is back.

The general manager of the XV of France announced Tuesday on Europe 1 to have extended his contract with the Blues until June 2028.

"It's time to tell you a secret: as it works well (with the XV of France), I'm going to extend the adventure because it's the most beautiful and intense that we can live, so I 've signed until June 2028, "said the former hooker of the Blues.

Ibanez, 49, has been in office since the fall of 2020 alongside coach Fabien Galthié, who announced for his part in early January that he had extended until 2027.

The profile of “post-2023 staff is emerging”

"It's the greatest adventure when you're passionate about rugby, when you're passionate and committed," he added, praising the "sharing" between the players and the management of the XV. of France.

“I am also very happy to know that the profile of the post-2023 staff is emerging”.

On January 10, Fabien Galthié announced that the current forwards coach of the French Stade, Laurent Sempéré, would join the staff of the XV of France after the World Cup-2023.

Sempéré will take over in this role from Karim Ghezal, who will join the Stade Français at the end of the World Cup, in the company of the current coach of the attack of the Blues, Laurent Labit.

Asked also about the placement in police custody Tuesday of Bernard Laporte in a case of money laundering of aggravated tax fraud, Raphaël Ibanez deplored the "gap" between the "sporting mission" of the Blues and the new legal troubles of the president in withdrawal from the FFR.

Bernard Laporte was released from police custody in the evening.

Refusal of "destabilized governance" by "power struggles"

"We, our trajectory is clear: we are heading with the team towards the goal of a lifetime (to win the World Cup in France in the fall)", underlined Ibanez, before adding: "I don't does not want governance destabilized by elections in the midst of sporting competition or power struggles".

But, he concluded, "everything we experience with the XV of France, we owe it to Bernard Laporte, president of the Federation: the World Cup in France, it's him".

The approximately 1,500 French rugby clubs have until noon Thursday to vote during a consultation for or against Bernard Laporte's proposal to appoint Patrick Buisson, until then vice-president in charge of amateur rugby, as president-delegate of the FFR.


Suspected of laundering aggravated tax evasion, Bernard Laporte is released from police custody


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  • Rugby

  • Rugby World Cup 2023

  • Sport

  • Ibanez

  • Bernard Laporte

  • Fabien Galthie