Pelous wanted for senior role

French rugby chief Bernard Lapasset tipped Fabien Pelous for a role in the country’s federation after the veteran quit the international stage.

Toulouse star Pelous announced on Wednesday that the 118th cap he won in last month’s World Cup semi-final against England would be his last.

The 33-year-old is the most-capped Frenchman of all time, and is a respected figure in his country after his twelve years of service for the national team.

Lapasset, the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), believes the second-row forward would fit perfectly into the country’s rugby hierarchy.

“Fabien Pelous is a player who made a difference to everyone in his generation and the players he rubbed shoulders with,” said Lapasset, who will take over from Dr Syd Millar as the International Rugby Board’s new president next year.

“He has been a leader, a motivator, a motor. He gradually imposed himself as captain, which is never easy, and did it like a natural.

“His stature and his list of achievements make him, I believe, a future member of the federation.

“His experience and his influence will be profitable for the future missions of tomorrow.”

Only Australia scrum-half George Gregan, with 139 caps, has played more Test rugby than Pelous, who captained Les Bleus 42 times and scored eight tries.

“I have had the chance to start playing with a generation of amateurs, and then finish with everything being professional,” said Pelous, who made his France debut in 1995 in a Test against Romania.

“I am very proud to have been able to adapt myself to this without a problem.”

Pelous added that he wanted to stay in rugby because it was his “passion”.

“I will never move away from rugby, even if perhaps you see me a little less than before,” said Pelous.

“In the end, I will return. I don’t know in which sphere or when, but I will be back on the pitch, whatever the post or function.”

Pelous will quit playing rugby for good at the end of this season.


365 Digital

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