A year ago, he led his last games at the head of the France team including a sad draw (23-23) against Japan. A few weeks later, Guy Novès was dismissed by the French Rugby Federation for a serious fault he contests and which will lead to a trial before the industrial tribunal on February 14. At 64, he confides in his new life.
His life away from the Blues
A year after your last games as coach, have you digested your eviction of the XV of France?
GUY NOVÈS. To say that I digested it would be lying. We can not digest an eviction that occurred unexpectedly, from whatever work it may be.
What are you waiting for next months and the trial of Prud'hommes scheduled for February 14?
I have nothing particular to say about it. I calmly wait for further operations by trusting the people around me. I doubt that it will be long. But I signed at Stade Toulousain in 1975 and won my first title of champion of France in 1985, ten years later. Patience, I know what it is. I am programmed for a target to reach.
What is your daily life made of?
I am much more available for all of my family. I have three children, four grandchildren. I also do some interventions, like recently at a seminar on physical preparation. I watch many games. It's my life, rugby! I also opened the hunt for the first time in a long time …
How do you live this situation of inactivity?
What happens to me seems so odious to me that I have a hard time relativizing and moving on. It's hard not to find a goal every day. I have always been very active. At the time, I had almost three trades. I can still see myself, a young gym teacher, running from the HLM where we lived with my wife in Colomiers (Editor's note: in the suburbs of Toulouse) to go and put a shot of cement at my house at Pibrac, and at night go to the Stade Toulousain to train. This is what happens to all people who stop their activity. We think we are a little freer, but we also lose social contact.
Do not you want to go back to a project?
I have to live with this screed that prevents me from getting into anything. I am at an age when we do not dismiss an interesting project with the back of the hand. But at the moment, I do not ask myself the question, because I do not know if I would be able to invest myself totally. My job, I spent 90% of my time there. I do not consider it differently. Gym teacher, I was paid 21 hours, but I did a lot more. I had 60 or 70 kids when other schools were struggling to build a team of 7. I'm happy, because in this painful adventure, I saw that 200 of my alumni had joined the support group who 'is created on Facebook after my eviction, and which counted 23 000 people.
Supporter of the XV of France
Do you always enjoy watching the French team?
The notion of pleasure, it is not there. But I can stand, yes, because I'm French and I had responsibilities with this team. I can not scorn her today because other people are in charge. Some of my former colleagues are still there. And I received SMS from a lot of players who comforted me. Seeing wounded Wesley Fofana, for example, really annoys me, because he's an adorable boy.
What does this team from France inspire you?
We have seen some very positive things, even though there have been defeats. The results are impacted by these three defeats in New Zealand in June (52-11, 26-13 and 49-14), where I did not hear that there was an ultimatum on the number of victories or defeats. But aside from the All Blacks, the France team is not that far.
Can the Blues be world champions in a year?
The France team can believe in its destiny. To say that she will be world champion is presumptuous, but that she can fight against the best, yes. I do not see France below the others, except New Zealand.
Worried for French rugby
How to improve the results of the France team?
What plumps the French rugby is the number of foreigners in the Top 14. Today, we can be champion of France and Europe with 80% of foreigners in the team. Everyone is happy but it does not help the team of France. When I was coach, only 46% of the championship players were French. I have nothing against foreigners, my grandparents were Spanish. But if we want a competitive French team, we will have to have more French in the Top 14. When I see clubs continue to recruit foreigners, do not complain later.
More generally, is French rugby going in the right direction?
We have certainly long been wrong vision of rugby, focusing on physical quality. Rugby remains a sport of avoidance, and this notion had a little disappeared. But I realize that it returns little by little and that's fine. There is a kind of re-education to be carried out so that young mothers and young dads want to put their children in rugby school. Because this game is fabulous in educational terms.