The handing over of the jerseys before a match is a sacred moment in rugby. Friday, the day before France – Wales, the rite was performed by Bernard Laporte, former coach of the Blues but above all resigning president of the Federation (FFR), indicates The Parisian.

Inevitably, the presence of the one who was also Secretary of State for Sports under Nicolas Sarkozy may seem incongruous, even if nothing prohibits it. But Fabien Galthié has never hidden his closeness to Laporte, who appealed after his first instance sentence to a two-year suspended prison sentence for corruption and influence peddling.

“A character we all appreciate”

Thus, the current sports boss of the XV of France had “a special thought for Bernard” after the triumph in England (10-53), last Saturday. Previously, Laporte had visited the Blues during the internship in Capbreton (Landes), at the beginning of February, before the Six Nations Tournament.

A few days earlier on January 28, the day after the resignation of the now ex-president of the FFR, the 2nd line Thibaud Flament had also mentioned at a press conference “a character that we all appreciate within the group”.

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