PARIS (AFP) – Former France back-row Olivier Magne said off-the-field problems bedevilling the country’s rugby are “sad” to see as Les Bleus prepare to start the defence of their Six Nations crown on Sunday.
Last week, French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte resigned following his conviction for corruption in December.
In October, the general manager of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Claude Atcher was removed from his position after being suspended by the sports minister two months earlier due to what an internal report called “alarming managerial practices”.
“Unfortunately, it’s sad for French rugby which doesn’t have a good image at the moment,” Magne, who is now in charge of French club Lyon’s under-23 side, told AFP on Monday.
Yet, on the field Fabien Galthie’s side are on a 13-Test unbeaten run, which includes last season’s Grand Slam success.
“In the end, these issues haven’t had an impact on the sport, we’re happy to see that France aren’t too troubled by them,” said Magne, an 89-time international.
In less than eight months’ time, France will kick-off the World Cup against three-time winners New Zealand in Paris.