Ratier to Relocate to Victoria to Take Over the Centralized Program
We knew about the move last week but were told to keep it under wraps until Rugby Canada released the story. That hasn't happened yet but Americas Rugby News released it today so the cats out of the bag, or at least a rugby ball has tumbled out.
It's good news for the men's program as Francois has proven himself a competent rugby mind who understands the Canadian system. He came in to rescue the men's program when Crowley left and coached the men's team to a respectable finish in the Americas Rugby Championship two years ago. He'll report to the head coach when that position is filled, so he comes out west not knowing the complete picture yet. He'll be working with the current assistant coaches Mike Shelley and Graeme Moffatt as they've been responsible for identifying the current crop of centralized players, Ratier as yet has had no input on that as he was the women's head coach just a few weeks ago.
It will be interesting to see the program mature under his direction. Currently looking in from the outside it looks to be a program in name only with sparse details on who is in the program, what it's short term goals are, and how it will operate. He arrives next week in Victoria to begin the task of moulding it into something tanglible and effective.
One interesting insight into the man is he has a picture of Don Quixote as the backdrop to his Twitter account, when queried on that he replied, "I like the desperate hero". That seems fitting when considering the task ahead and the current state of the men's program.
While researching what the message of Don Quixote means to people, I found one outpouring that supporters of the Canadian men's XVs program may relate to: "Now that I'm older, the message of Don Quixote's story, of dreaming the impossible dream and making that perilous, hopeless quest against all the disbelief, is so much more powerful. Now I cry every time!?". It sounds like many Canadian rugby fans these days, older ones shedding internal tears for the days when Canadian men's rugby was a proud force in world rugby. Hopefully Francois' quest will bring hope again, we wish him all the best for success.