Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bernard Laporte to coach Argentina after RWC 2015?

Photo Memosport: Laporte masterminded France to victory over the All Blacks in 2007
According to sources from the French and Argentine media former French international headcoach Bernard Laporte has been contacted by the UAR to become Argentina´s headcoach after Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Information obtained reveals that contacts were made between both the UAR and Laporte during today´s Top 14 match between Toulon and Montpellier. Sources also reveal that Laporte could be involved in one of two manners. The first being as a Technical Advisor similar to that of Graham Henry in 2011 and 2012 or as the headcoach. 

Laporte coached France for the greater part of eight years. He took over from Jean-Claude Skrela after Rugby World Cup 1999 and retained the position of headcoach until the completion of Rugby World Cup 2007. During his time in charge France enjoyed notable results with Laporte´s focus on discipline being paramount to France performing with greater consistency than before and after he held the position. 

It did not come without problems though such as in 2001 when France lost three out of five matches in the Six Nations. But France rebounded to complete a Grand Slam in 2002 and dominate pool play in Rugby World Cup 2003 before eliminating Ireland in the Quarter Finals. Laporte subsequently coached France to Six Nations glory in 2004 and 2006 and 2007.  

Laporte also enjoyed success against Southern Hemisphere opposition. France defeated New Zealand in Marseilles in 2000 and also saw Les Bleus defeat Australia three times and South Africa five. His most notable accomplishment, though, was arguably in eliminating New Zealand from Rugby World Cup 2007 in a match played at a neutral venue. It saw Laporte´s team reach the Semi Finals after France had been sent to Cardiff by Argentina whom defeated the hosts in the opening match in Paris on September 7 2007. 

During the Laporte regime Argentina was France´s archilles heel. France´s only win over Argentina was a 27-26 victory in November 2006 at the Stade de France. Los Pumas won the six other matches, three of which were played in France and three in Buenos Aires. In subsequent years Argentina has lost all games in France and won two out of three in Argentina. 

During Rugby World Cup 2007 many French supporters spoke of Argentina´s ability to defeat France as being significantly linked to the high number of players based in France. With so many speaking fluent French Argentina had an advantage that no other Tier One nation did during this period. 

Prior to coaching France Laporte coached both Bordeaux-Begles and Stade Français. He returned to coaching in 2011 and saw Toulon win the Heineken Cup earlier this year in addition to appearing in two Top 14 finals. 

Press Response after defeat against Argentina in RWC 2007

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