Guy Novès

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Guy Novès
Guy Novès 2014.jpg
Novès in 2014
Date of birth (1954-02-05) 5 February 1954 (age 63)
Place of birth Toulouse, France
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 78 kg (12 st 4 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Head Coach
Current team France
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1975–1988 Toulouse 259 ((415))
Correct as of 14 July 2016
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1977–1979 France 7 ((0))
Correct as of 19 October 2015
Teams coached
Years Team
Toulouse (Asst. Coach)
Toulouse (Head Coach)
Correct as of 14 July 2016

Guy Novès (born 5 February 1954) is a former French rugby union player and current coach of the French national team. Born in Toulouse, Novès, who played on the wing, was capped seven times for his nations, and played with Stade Toulousain from 1975 to 1987 and was a member of the team that won the Bouclier de Brennus in 1985 and 1986. He later coached the side in a tenure that lasted 22 years, where he won the French championship nine times and the Heineken Cup four times.

Playing career[edit]

Before playing rugby, Novès played athletics at a high level, where on 3 July 1971 he won the national 1,200 metre race in record time, 3 minutes 16 seconds.[1] He turned his attention to rugby in 1973, and in 1975 he was picked up by Toulouse in 1975 ahead of the 1975–76 French Rugby Union Championship season. He made his first appearance for the club on 9 November 1975 against Grenoble in the Challenge Yves du Manoir.

In 1977, Novès was selected for his nation, where on 11 November, he started in France's 18–13 win over New Zealand. In 1978, he played in one match of the 1978 Five Nations Championship, starting in their loss to Wales on 18 March in Cardiff. He played his last ever match for his nation on 17 February 1979 during the 1979 Five Nations Championship, where France finished as runner's up.

It wasn't until the early 1980s that Novès and Toulouse started to win silverware. During the 1979–80 French Rugby Union Championship, Toulouse finished runners-up to Béziers, losing 10–6, in what was their most successful Championship since 1969. In 1984, Novès helped Toulouse to their first French Cup title in 37 years, after beating Lourdes 6–0 in the final. He also helped Toulouse secure a place in the 1983/84 Challenge Yves du Manoir final, after helping beat the previous champions Agen 16–15 in the semi's, before going down to Narbonne 17–13 in the final. In the 1984–85 French Rugby Union Championship, Toulouse won their eight title, their first since 1947, after topping their Pool in the qualification round, before going onto defeat Bayonne, Béziers and Montferrand to reach the final. On 25 May 1985, Novès started on the wing in the final, and after 80 minutes, Toulouse and Toulon wera all level 19–all. However, after extra time, Toulouse were the eventual champions winning 36–22. A year later, Toulouse retained the title after beating Agen 16–6 in the final.

In early 1988, Guy Novès announced that he would retire at the end of that season. During the 1987/88 season, Toulouse made it to the Quarter-finals of the French Rugby Union Championship, losing to Toulon 21–9. However, Toulouse did make it to the 1988 Challenge Yves du Manoir final, ironically after defeating Toulon 27–7 in the Semi-finals. On 20 May 1988, Novès played his last game for Toulouse, starting against Dax in the Challenge Yves du Manoir final, which was won by Toulouse 15–13.




Coaching career[edit]


After retiring from playing rugby in 1988, he joined the Toulouse coaching set-up with Pierre Villepreux and Jean-Claude Skrela until 1990. In that time he worked as an assistant coach, taking charge of the backs, where he helped guide Toulouse to the 1988–89 French Rugby Union Championship title a year after he retired from playing.

He returned to the club in 1993 as head coach, replacing Pierre Villepreux.[2] In his first two seasons in charge, he led his side to back-to-back French Rugby Union Championship titles, after defeating Montferrand 22–16 in 1994 and Castres 31–16 in 1995. The 1995 title, meant Toulouse became the most successful French team haven won 12 French Championship title. In 1996, the game went professional and the Championship was reduced from 32 teams to 20. Toulouse topped their pool during the 1995–96 French Rugby Union Championship before making their way to the final, defeating Catalane, Narbonne and Dax en route. On 1 June 1996, Toulouse retained their title after beating Brive 20–13 in the final. During that season, Toulouse won the inaugural Heineken Cup after beating Welsh side Cardiff 21–18 after extra time. In 1997, Toulouse won their fourth consecutive French Rugby Union Championship, the first team to do this since Stade Bordelais who won the title between 1904 and 1907.

In 2001, Guy Novès left his professorship EPS that he held since 1978 to devote himself entirely to his coaching position. This move proved itself, with Toulouse going on to win seven titles until Novès' departure. In 2005, Novès led Toulouse to their third Heineken Cup title after beating Stade Français 18–12 in the final. Toulouse became the first ever team in the Heineken Cup to win three Heineken Cup titles, after they also won the 2003 Heineken Cup Final. During the 2005–06 Top 14 season, the Championship was reduced to just 14 teams as the game became more professional. Despite finishing third on the table after the regular season, Toulouse made it to the final after beating Stade Français 12–9 in the semi's. However, they were beaten by Biarritz in the final 40–13.

In 2008, Toulouse were close to earning a rare double Championship across the Top 14 and Heineken Cup. However, Munster defeated Toulouse in 2008 Heineken Cup Final 16–13, though Toulouse did later go onto win the 2007–08 Top 14 season, earning a victory over Clermont 26–20. Between 2010 and 2012, Toulouse earned three title, the 2009–10 Heineken Cup title and back-to-back Championship titles in the Top 14 in 2011 and 2012. Between 2012 and 2015, Toulouse failed to make a single final, the longest period the team had gone without being in a final in the professional era. Further more, Toulouse were even knocked out of the Quarter-finals of the 2012–13 European Challenge Cup, after dropping down from the 2012–13 Heineken Cup. On 6 June 2015, Novès coached his last game at Toulouse, losing to Clermont 18–14 in the Quarter-finals of the 2014–15 Top 14 season.


As Head Coach (1993–2015)

As Assistant Coach (1988–1990)

Head coach of France[edit]

He was one of the candidates tipped to replace Bernard Laporte at the end of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but that position went to Marc Lièvremont, after Novès declined the offer to stay with Toulouse.[3] 8 years later, Novès was announced as the next head coach of France, replacing Philippe Saint-André after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[4]

On 19 January 2016, Novès named his first squad, including eight uncapped players.[5] His first match in charge was on 6 February during the 2016 Six Nations Championship against Italy at the Stade de France. Novès bled 6 uncapped players in that match day team, defeating Italy 23–21. A week later, Novès led France to their first victory over Ireland since August 2011, running out 10–9 victors. Guy Novès' first defeat came on 26 February against Wales, losing 19–10, before going onto lose to Scotland, 29–18, for the first time since 2006. In the final match of the Championship, England had already secured the title, a win for France would only stop the grand slam. However, in a match that France failed to score any tries, England were the victors 31–21. In June 2016, France toured Argentina for a two-test series. Unfortunately for Novès, due to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Top 14 organizers did not schedule any games during the pool phase of the tournament, which meant it will end at a later date than normal. Therefore, the semi-finals and final of the 2015–16 season will concede with the June international window, clashing with the French games on the 19 and 25 June.[6][7] Due to this, Novès named 12 uncapped players in his touring squad, and 7 players who had played less than 10 tests for their country. The first test was lost 30–19, in a match that had 10 new players capped for the first time. However, a week later, France defeated Argentina 27–0, the first time Argentina has failed to score any points in a test match since they lost 16–0 against Ireland in 2007. It is the first time they have failed to score any points against France since their first ever meeting in 1949. During the 2016 end of year tests, Novès led France to a sole victory, beating Samoa 52–8 in the opening week of their November series. The following two tests saw France lose narrowly to Australia 25–23 and New Zealand 24–19.

During the 2017 Six Nations Championship, France finished in their highest position since the 2011 Six Nations Championship. They secured three wins in the Championship, defeating Scotland 22–16, Italy 40–18 and Wales 20–18. The Welsh win saw France claim the victory twenty minutes into overtime (100 game minutes) which saw France beat Wales for the first time since 2011.

International matches as head coach[edit]

Note: World Rankings Column shows the World Ranking France was placed at on the following Monday after each of their matches

Record by country[edit]

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost Win ratio (%) For Against Difference
 Argentina 2 1 0 1 50 46 30 +16
 Australia 1 0 0 1 00 23 25 –2
 England 2 0 0 2 00 37 50 –13
 Ireland 2 1 0 1 50 19 28 –9
 Italy 2 2 0 0 1000 63 39 +24
 New Zealand 1 0 0 1 00 19 24 –5
 Samoa 1 1 0 0 1000 52 8 +44
 Scotland 2 1 0 1 50 40 45 –5
 Wales 2 1 0 1 50 30 37 –7
TOTAL 15 7 0 8 47 329 286 +43



External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
France Philippe Saint-André
French National Rugby Union Coach
2015 – Present
Succeeded by