|The new head coach has placed his faith in a group of talented young players with their home World Cup the long-term targetLate night on Sunday 16 November 2003, Fabien Galthié was reckoning with the idea that he may just have played the last match of his career. After 17 years, it wasn’t how he wanted it to finish. Galthié had spent the last four of those 17 as captain, working with the coach Bernard L France team. They had made them disciplined and consistent. The approach had won a grand slam in 2002, but now, in the moment they needed it most, it had failed them. In the World Cup semi-final against England, they had two men sent to the sin-bin and lost 24-7.
“If we had won,” Laporte said, “this man would have been hailed as the best scrum-half in the history of French rugby.” As for Galthié, “I want to publicly thank Bernard for placing his faith in me,” he said, “and for allowing me one final adventure with this team. I wanted to do more, I dreamed of a different ending.”