Serge Betsen says Jacques Brunel must be given time to restore the pride in French rugby following a tumultuous period.
Brunel took over as Les Bleus head coach last December after the sacking of Guy Noves.
France had never axed a coach before Noves was given his marching orders following a run of six Tests without a win.
Brunel’s reign started with back-to-back Six Nations defeats to Ireland and Scotland, but France responded by beating Italy 34-17 in Marseille last Friday.
Betsen does not expect a quick fix to France’s problems, but thinks the 64-year-old Brunel can make an impact if changes are made on and off the field.
The former France flanker told Omnisport: “It is the first time ever a French coach has been sacked. With sport, like in life, you need time to build things.
It’s a win for @FFRugby!
— NatWest 6 Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 23, 2018
“We need to be patient and set objectives for what we want to achieve. When we set the objectives we need to be realistic over what we can deliver. What investment will we put in to try and get the results? This is where I believe we are still lacking.
“But it is not just a case of do we win or lose, it is beyond that. We know we have the talented players and we can see that, but they need to be able to do it for more than around half an hour, it needs to be over 80 minutes – like in the Ireland game, when Johnny Sexton won it right at the end.
“I was positive on the fact that last year we had a decent Six Nations; we finished in the top three. For me that was a good start for where we want to be, the fact that Guy Noves was sacked set us back a little bit.
“We need to rebuild the confidence and I think Jacques Brunel has worked on that a lot with his coaching staff, the players seem to be playing with confidence, but it was not enough in those first two games and there is work to do.”
– Betsen was among the former internationals competing in the Tournoi des 6 Stations Orangina [The 6 Stations Tournament] on the snow in the French Alps from February 12-18. For more information on the event visit http://tournoides6stations.com/en/
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