Sunday, May 29, 2011

RUGBY - Always champion but until when?

Stade Toulousain, one of the best rugby clubs in the world is entering a transition period. Speaking of "decline" or "death" would be a folly, because, given the money and expertise available in the Pink City, it is unlikely that the situation persists. Everything depends on the coach, veteran [since 1989] Guy Noves and his ability to work miracles again.

But with aging and a selection of young players who have yet to prove themselves, he has work to do. Guy Noves is obviously not a novice. The current team is the fourth generation led by the coach and each time the club has lost Califano, a Castaignede Pelous or [former players of Toulouse], the man responded.

With about a dozen key players operating in thirty league that is not easy, this transition will be harder than previous ones. Serge Manificat, Midi Olympic [Weekly devoted to the world of rugby], followed the Stade Toulousain since the golden generation of the 1980s. He said the club has been slow to replace aging players and reluctant to trust young people.

"Toulouse tried to make the most of some players, but the reality is that they should have been replaced a year or two earlier." Journalist's arguments should sound familiar to those interested in the great European rival in Toulouse , Munster [in the south of Ireland]. The average age of both teams, when they met in the final of the Heineken Cup 2008 [European Cup], was almost the same.

It remains at Stade Toulousain, experienced internationals such as Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans and William Servat are not as powerful as before, while a succession of injuries has hurt the club, especially since the retirement [in 2010] the ever-present scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.

Even the fantastic Thierry Dusautoir seems to be struggling to stay in shape lately. Still, many people harbor no illusions concern about the future of the club. Pierre Villepreux, the legendary former coach of Toulouse and the France team, is quick to remind that all ingredients are combined at Stade Ernest-Wallon [name of chief executive officer of the club, founded in 1907].

There is no doubt that the game would now be poorer without the contribution of the club Toulouse, Pierre Villepreux and Guy Noves. The return of a Vincent Clerc closer to his best form has reinvigorated the team, not to mention Jean-Marc Doussain, scrum half for 20 years and international power.

Nevertheless, the fact that Doussain seems to be the first player since a long time to finish all his classes at the academy in Toulouse presents a problem to the agenda: the most talented young French team have been purchased in recent years , while the club has let others, like [three quarters] Maxime Mermoz and Mathieu Belie.

No comments:

Post a Comment