Raphaël Ibanez, general manager of the Blues since 2019 working closely with coach Fabien Galthié, keeps the title, but will see his missions evolve considerably, in a more “transversal” sense, as the FFR announced in a detailed press release this Monday morning.
Clearly, the former Blues hooker, under contract with the FFR until 2028, will no longer form with Galthié the pair who presided over the destiny of the French XV over the last four years.
“The French Rugby Federation wishes to provide details regarding the evolution of the missions of Raphaël Ibañez, who continues to assume his role as general manager of the XV of France,” said the press release from this Monday. The Federation evokes a refocusing on the initial missions entrusted to Ibanez: “Since 2019, Raphaël Ibañez’s commitment has been strongly focused on the French XV, in particular in the context of the preparation and production of the World Cup . However, in line with the initial objectives set in 2019, there are now plans to expand and rebalance its responsibilities.”
The press release defines “the strategic evolution of Raphaël Ibañez’s functions” in the following terms, citing in particular: “supporting the development and coordination between all teams in France, strengthening collaborations with professional clubs and related institutional players. with the XV of France, active participation in high performance commissions and gatherings of French teams.”
The press release also says that it is envisaged for Ibanez to “expand its action” in other areas such as “the contribution to the optimization of relations between the partnership service of the FFR and the French teams, in order to promote the contractual commitments” or “the representation of high performance in national and international bodies”.
The FFR motivates this change in scope with the following arguments: “This strategic evolution in Raphaël Ibañez’s functions is part of our commitment to maximizing synergy and performance within the FFR. His multidimensional expertise will be a major asset in carrying out these expanded missions and contributing significantly to the advancement of French rugby.”