It was announced yesterday that former St Helens and Great Britain scrum-half Bobby Goulding has been appointed as Coach of the French National Team in the wake of John Monie’s contract not being renewed. Goulding has signed a three-year contract and is entrusted with lifting the standard of Les Tricolores after what can only be described as an embarassing World Cup.
Well, I didn’t see this one coming at all. Goulding had done relatively well as coach of Rochdale a few seasons ago but had left the job after being frustated with the club’s attitude. That’s not exactly the coaching CV of an obviously international caliber coach. The first inclination is to consider this a bad choice, what with Goulding’s lack of experience and seeming lack of temperament for high level coaching.
Then again, who knows how well he might go? I’m not sure how much further France could sink right now and he might just give them the kick up the arse that they need. I suspect a lot of it could hinge on his choices for assistants, as he’s going to be under a lot of pressure from the off (Test against England, a Four Nations to worry about) and he’s going to need to spread some of that around. I’m inclined to give Goulding a bit of time to show us what he can do before ripping into him. I suspect this should at least be fun to watch either way.