Rugby World Cup 2023. Lajesquet, the origin of Portuguese expertise

Rugby World Cup 2023. Lajesquet, the origin of Portuguese expertise

When the All Blacks inflicted a historic victory over France in the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup (62-3, October 17 in Cardiff), bringing an abrupt end to the tenure of coach Philippe Saint-Andre and his staff, did Patrice Laguesquet (then Three-Quarters coach) think he would put One day pitch it in the Rugby World Cup again? Probably not…

Eight years later, he is again at the deep end, thanks to an unexpected return of Portugal to the tournament qualifiers in Dubai, in November 2022, which included an error-free run, until the decisive draw against the United States (16-16). ). “It has been key to the development of our team, for four years, when we started with this group. We have made tremendous progress,” says José Madeira, 2 yearsH Line “Os Lobos” (Wolves) and FC Grenoble (Pro D2).

“All our staff are important. He is a real addition, with all the experience and requirements he brings to us. Patrice, he is used to playing in big matches, as he did as a player and a coach. » More than fifteen years he spent in the French Championship (Aveyron Bayonnais, 1982-1992, then Biarritz Olympique, 1992-97), before returning successfully as co-coach of PAU (1997-2008, three-time champion France, H’Cup finalist in 2006, etc.).

His nickname was “The Worried One.”

“I can’t compare myself to the time when I was a player, they (Portuguese internationals) are not born, they don’t care much about it,” this week reiterated the coach of the Lusitanian team, who took up his duties in 2019 accompanied by Hervé Durqueté, a Basque friend and former teammate of Bayonne. “I just want to help the players give their best in the World Cup. »

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>> The complete competition program

Who better than Lagesque, 61, to guide the Lusitanian selection – a mix of professionals playing in France (mostly in Pro D2) and Portuguese semi-amateurs – and to make themselves stand out at the World Cup? “He’s a very sharp, very square person; “Taking care of Portugal suited him perfectly,” said Alain Lorioux, his Blues teammate in the 1980s. “His nickname was ‘the anxious one’ because we always saw him worried and he couldn’t help but become a coach.” »

Madeira agrees: “He talks a lot about the little details, how to manage certain situations, the end of the game…” Grenobleu slides in, starting with the match against the Welshman. “He always showed us how to do things in a calm and composed way, and to keep a cool head in difficult moments. »

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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