By Simon Galinier
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the french rugby is on the rise, and that’s an understatement! After the Grand Slam achieved by the Blues during the 2022 6 Nations Tournament and his first place in the World Rugby rankings after the second test won this summer in Japan, the XV of France has once again become a cador in world rugby. As proof, 5 French people are in the top 10 of most influential people in world rugby of the specialist magazine Rugby World.
“Laporte is moody, tough and controversial, but he drives rugby forward”
Like the famous classification of the Time which lists the 50 most influential people in the world, Rugby World establishes its own classification around the oval ball since 2016. This year, it is the president of the French Federation of Rugby, Bernard Laporte, although very controversial, who won the favor of the English magazine by becoming the first influential personality in world rugby. A symbolic title due to the “efficiency” of the president of the FFR, thus justify the journalists of Rugby World.
“He is moody, tough, controversial, but he gets things done” explains the British media. “If Bernard ticks a box, then things happen quickly. Otherwise, you have trouble. At the head of the FFR since 2016 and vice-president of World Rugby since 2020, the former coach of the Blues has been able to put the France team back at the top of world rugby. Tricolores who have been undefeated since last August (10 wins in a row) and won everything last season.
Antoine Dupont, Claude Atcher and Fabien Galthié well placed
Another symbol of this tricolor domination on planet rugby, the scrum half of the Blues Antoine Dupont ranks at the foot of the podium of the most influential personalities in the world. Appointed captain of the XV of France during the last Tournament in the absence of Charles Ollivon, the Toulousain was elected best player in the world in 2021 by World Rugby. The native of Castelnau-Magnoac (Hautes-Pyrénées) therefore logically ranks as the first influential player in the world behind Bernard Laporte. He is ahead Claude Atcher (5e), the director of France 2023.
Nick Clarkpresident of CVC Capital Partners (investment fund holder of the rights of 6 Nations) and the other French Ben MorelDirector General of the 6 Nations Committee, respectively occupy the 2e and 3e place in this ranking. The French coach Fabien Galthie is also in a good position, since it ranks 7e place in the top 50, far ahead of his counterpart in England, Eddie Jones (18e), and the Ireland manager, Andy Farrel (25e).
France has the second highest total behind England (19 people present) in a list where 11 different countries are represented. Rassie Erasmusdirector of South African rugby, has meanwhile tumbled 25 places and finds himself ranked 31ejust like the captain of the Springboks, Siya Kolisifirst in 2020, which fell 10 places and now stands at 11e rank. It is just behind the former center of the All Blacks, passed through Pau, Conrad Smith (10e), currently responsible for player welfare for the International Rugby Players Union.
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