The importance of rugby in France becomes clear through flashbacks. The European Football Championship was held in France last June and the hosts were the favourites. If you are interested in sports, you should really assume that the whole country was watching the European Football Championship with fascination. but that did not happen.
Because in those June days more than 90,000 people fled to Spain. He made the pilgrimage to the final of the French League between Racing 92 Columbus and Toulon at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium, which served as an alternative venue for the Stade de France in Paris, which was busy with the European Championships. The French newspapers were also full of news of the rugby final. More important than football was rugby. EM moved to the background.
As this flashback shows: France is a proud rugby nation. On the other hand, there is not much left of this proud rugby nation at the international level. While France’s “Top 14” league is considered one of the strongest in the world, with players signing contracts worth millions, the national team suffers from chronic failure. Former captain of the national team Pascal Pep recently said that it was difficult at all to find a strong Frenchman in some positions.
France’s rugby inequality is reminiscent of English football
This disparity between strong clubs and weak national selection reminds many experts of the English Premier League versus the English national team in football: the domestic leagues leading the world in both sports hinder the development of the national. teams because international stars inhibited the development of local offspring.
Like the Premier League in football, the French league has grown into the leading and financially strongest league in the world since the commercialization and commercialization of the game of rugby in the mid-1990s. In recent years the budget of clubs has grown to between 20 and 30 million euros. This is made possible by a TV contract with broadcaster Canal+, which guarantees the clubs about 350 million euros over five years. In comparison, the best teams in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy, which form their own league, generate only €12.5 million per year from TV rights.
In France, thanks to a huge amount of money, even the strongest players from the major countries of the Southern Hemisphere are under contract. Following New Zealand’s 2015 World Cup victory, Dan Carter, who is celebrated as the best number 10 in rugby history, moved to Racing 92. Carter openly admitted that he was gone for the money, an increase of 1.5 million euros per season as he ranks the best paid rugby player. There is a rule according to which 55 percent of the players used during the season must be trained in France. But the dominant positions in almost all clubs are filled with international top stars, talents cannot establish themselves in many positions and thus cannot develop.
One disgrace to a once proud national team follows another
So this is another symptom of the national team’s woes that they lost to England again last weekend. At 16:19 the French were the better team, England coach Eddie Jones openly admitted. But even the selection of coach Guy Knows in 2017 lacked the instincts that differentiated him from his better-trained players. France once again forgot to win, he wrote Guardian.
At the 2011 World Cup, the French were in the World Cup final for the third and last time – and lost to New Zealand. At the last World Cup in England in 2015, the “All Blacks” humiliated the French in the quarter-finals with a 62:13. A historic bankruptcy comparing the Brazilians 1:7 in the 2014 World Cup against Germany.
The French are no longer producing big players – like longtime Sebastian Chabal once – with clubs and national team interests running in opposite directions in France. A win against Scotland a few years ago would have certainly been a thing for the big “les bles” – this Sunday for the national players, who are referred to as “les miserables” more than once in six at the Paris Stade de France. Nations Tournament 2017, it is no longer there.
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