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Tuesday Apr 21, 2015

France U18s win the European Championship and give hope to the future

France U18s win the European Championship and give hope to the future
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France’s Under 18 were recently crowned European champions with a convincing 57-0 victory over Georgia in Toulouse. Head coach Thierry Gatieneau’s young side impressively saw off defending champions England 23-18 in the semi-final, before claiming the title.

While the national side has been a shadow of its former self at the highest level, the junior teams have performed admirably and have become a cause for optimism for a federation that is desperate for success of any kind.

Interestingly, the European victory comes 10 years after France claimed its last major youth title. In 2006, the Under 21s beat South Africa, again on French soil in Clermont Ferrand.  

That winning side contained no less than 11 future French internationalists, including Lionel Beauxis, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Maxime Medard, Damien Chouly and Thomas Domingo.


The final standings of each division in the 2015 European Championships

It’s too early to gauge how many of this championship winning team will be running out to a packed Stade de France, but the French federation (FFR) speaks of a unique generation of players.

“This generation definitely has something special. After defeat to Italy at the start of the season, the title seemed a long way away.

“You have to believe that the work pays off because, thanks to a great collective effort and some individualism, we dominated the Georgians and conceded only one try in two matches.”

World Rugby produced an insightful video following the French team as they prepared for their final match with Georgia in Toulouse. The video features interviews with Galieneau and Captain Alexandre Roumat as well as a short highlights reel of the final.

Galieneau also gained recognition for his touchline excitement during the match in this separate video. He demonstrates a passion and character which is seldom seen in most modern day rugby coaches.

3 Comments

  • finedisregard
    6:32 PM 22/04/2015

    If it is the premier competition in Europe shouldn't the 6N be the best 6 teams? According to the IRB Georgia is currently ranked ahead of Italy and just four spots below Scotland. I don't think they'd get hammered. Plus they've accomplished this without regular competition or a monied domestic league. Looking at their U18 team their future looks bright. I wish Scotland was more competitive and I do want them to improve but it would be nice to see some new members in the club.

    Reply
  • reality
    4:41 PM 22/04/2015

    If Italy and Scotland don't deserve their places based on history and proximity, who does? Georgia would be absolutely hammered in every match if they took part, just like every other team in Europe outside of the Six Nations, and would have absolutely zero chance of winning against Ireland, Wales, England and France - and Italy and Scotland, for that matter. And I'd say based on history Scotland do deserve to be there. They're going through tough times but they've been there for over a hundred years and in the past were pretty successful.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    1:00 PM 22/04/2015

    My goodness look at Georgia and Portugal! Times are changing. Maybe some day there will be a 6N with promotion and relegation? If Scotland was relegated would that be the end of the sport in the country? Georgia is knocking on the door but outside travel issues will other countries lose money by playing there? I'd like to see some teams ascend. Scotland and Italy don't deserve their spots based on history and proximity.

    Reply


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France U18s win the European Championship and give hope to the future | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos