Following the departure of Rafael Ibáñez, France is currently searching for a new team manager. Ibanez was appointed to work alongside Fabien Galti after the disappointment of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and their partnership played a significant role in revitalizing French rugby. However, their relationship reportedly broke down over the past few months, with disagreements that arose before and during the World Cup not being mended since the tournament ended.
The tension between Ibanez and Galti was heightened by the actions of former Les Bleus player Richard Durt, who publicly criticized the French coach. Dourthe, who is also Ibanez’s son-in-law, accused Galti of avoiding important issues and challenged his coaching methods. The breakdown of relations between Ibanez and Galti has seen Ibanez likely to take up a role within the French Rugby Federation that will not be tied to the men’s side, with a role in the youth and/or women’s sections.
Ibanez’s departure adds to the rebuilding that Galti will have to do on the coaching side, with several other coaches also leaving their positions within the set-up. Despite these challenges, Galty will have a relatively young squad to work with and will be without his captain for the 2024 Six Nations as Antoine Dupont focuses on developing his skills in the week leading up to the Paris Olympics.