Report – Fabien Galthié (XV of France), in Belvès as in Marcoussis

Report - Fabien Galthié (XV of France), in Belvès as in Marcoussis

This Tuesday evening, in the Dordogne, Fabien Galthié hosted a training session for the Stade Belvèsois, a second federal division team. For the occasion, the coach had decided to offer local players a session usually concocted for the XV of France.

It is in Belvès, this village of 1400 inhabitants located in the heart of the Dordogne, that Fabien Galthié has chosen to return to school in 2023, this Tuesday evening. This time, he was not surrounded by William Servat, Laurent Labit or Karim Ghezal but by coaches from Stade Belvèsois, which plays in the second Federal Division. No Antoine Dupont or Grégory Alldritt on the pitch either, but the players of the local team, some of whom arrived late for the meeting due to their professional obligations, even if they were welcomed with the smile by the coach. As he has been used to since the beginning of his mandate, he wanted – through this initiative – to associate amateur rugby with the success of the XV of France. Landed on site at the end of the afternoon, he first isolated himself with the coaches to prepare for the session he was responsible for supervising and organizing. After this first staff “briefing”, Galthié brought the whole group together in the clubhouse to present the programme. And he began his speech by asking the players, necessarily intimidated in their chairs, to approach him and the board on which he was about to detail the schedule.

Preparing for the match on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Then, the technician moved on to more serious things: “Usually you don’t train on Tuesday nights. With the coaches, we modified the program for the week to prepare for the match on Sunday, at 3 p.m. The goal is to get to the top of the game. So we’re going to do the training I normally do on Wednesdays with the France team. » An incredible dive into the reality of Marcoussis and international rugby for men initiated into federal games. The name of the session? The same as in the national team: “Ball in play”. Explanations by Fabien Galthié: “The goal is to train at maximum intensity, without concessions, to be comfortable with the speed of the game and get into match conditions. » The interested party then justified the interest of proceeding in this way, with supporting figures: “An international match is 38 minutes of time played, it’s fifty-two sequences on average… After a ten-minute warm-up, five individually then five collectively, there will be two teams: the probables and the possible ones. There will also be a group of finishers. » A vocabulary that the Blues have been hearing for three years.

Shorts, cleats and a whistle in your mouth

Clearly, Fabien Galthié had concocted several sequences lasting one minute, one minute and thirty seconds or two minutes, interspersed with reduced rest times. I will adapt the playing time by observing you, insisted the coach. It’s rugby training but also physiological. We will see how, with fatigue, you will react technically. » Then warn the game leaders: “It is important to make good use of the time not played to recover and communicate. » Players weren’t the only ones involved, as Galthié put it: “Between the first two sequence blocks and the last two, we will take a ten-minute break during which everyone will return to the locker room. It will be like halftime. There, it is the coaches who will train, who will have to say what is necessary. It is essential to be good in these moments. »

A few minutes later, his one-day proteges were on the lawn of the Municipal Stadium Sem Gallet to live a unique experience, in front of a hundred people who came to observe this session like no other. In shorts, crampons and a whistle in his mouth, Galthié led the debates and gave the voices to deliver valuable advice for an hour. Anxious to unify all strata of French rugby, the Lotois (he grew up forty kilometers from Belvès) spared no effort to invest in his mission. A moment obviously appreciated by local leaders and supporters, who were then on the lookout to get a selfie or an autograph, even if the famous “half-time” had already been used to organize a photo shoot of Fabien Galthié in the middle of the field, especially with the rugby school of a village in turmoil.