France suffered ‘total failure’ at RWC

France’s World Cup was a “total failure”, the country’s rugby federation chief said on Monday after a crushing 62-13 quarter-final defeat to New Zealand.

“We had fixed important targets, so this defeat was a total failure,” French Rugby Federation president Pierre Camou told AFP.

“You have to admit it. We are in a difficult moment, it would be stupid to deny it.”

“I am the first to admit this and I assume, as president of the federation, absolute responsibility.”

Coach Pierre Saint-Andre, the former national captain, ended a difficult four years in charge with the defeat at Cardiff on Saturday.

It was France’s worst World Cup since 1991 and they have not been in the top three places in the Six Nations in any year of Saint-Andre’s reign.

Camou said the federation executive board would have an emergency meeting in Paris on Thursday when he expects “everyone to speak freely”.

The FFR leader said France would have to consider introducing central contracts as New Zealand, Australia, England and other leading nations have.

The contracts make sure players are free for internationals and are not over burdened with club games.

Camou also criticised France’s powerful Top 14 championship for not giving more help to young players.

“For six years we have been trying to reform everything, the age groups, the teams,” he said.

“But the kids don’t play (in Top 14). They never play. But the best training is playing.”

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