Sat, 11 Jul 2020

Marcoussis - France head coach Jacques Brunel denied on Thursday the new arrivals to his staff ahead of the Rugby World Cup, Fabien Galthie and Laurent Labit, would cause trouble among the squad.

Former captain Galthie joins Les Bleus' set-up as an attack specialist before taking over from Brunel after the competition which runs from September 20-November 2.

Labit will oversee "individual technique" before becoming an assistant to Galthie after six seasons at the helm of Racing 92.

The appointments have been criticised by the likes of ex-international flanker Olivier Magne and outspoken Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal.

The pair cited the unlikeliness of Galthie accepting a secondary role below 65-year-old Brunel.

"Some people thought it would create a problem, the conflicts, but I think it's a strength," Brunel said.

"In the way the team is at the moment, in building it around the way we play, I am convinced it will help us."

The full squad has been together since Saturday as they prepare for the tournament in Japan as players from Top 14 finalists Toulouse and Clermont made up the rest of the 31-man group.

Brunel said mobile prop Demba Bamba will return from a neck injury within the next three weeks.

He expects influential back-rower Arthur Iturria to be back in full training in less than a month as he is suffering from a thigh issue and hopes winger Yoann Huget will recover from a tendon problem in the next 10 days.

France play Scotland twice and host Italy in three warm-up matches in August before the competition.

They will face Argentina, the US, Tonga and England in their pool following a poor run of five victories in 16 games since Brunel took charge in December 2017.

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