Top 14 – Mola – Bru, fratricidal duel: “the winning runs in their veins” explains Novès

Top 14 – Mola – Bru, fratricidal duel: “the winning runs in their veins” explains Novès
Top 14 – Mola – Bru, fratricidal duel: “the winning runs in their veins” explains Novès

The final between Stade Toulouse and the Bordeaux Bègles union also pits two closely linked coaches against each other. Guy Novès knew Yannick Bru and Ugo Mola as players. He also had the first as assistant in Toulouse, then in the French team. and named the second to succeed Ernest-Wallon.

This final will be a duel between two managers that you know well. Are you proud of it?

I’m happy to see two former kids that I had, when they were juniors, at the head of these clubs. Both have experience, a head on their shoulders and a well-shaped brain. I know Yannick a little more, who coached alongside me in Toulouse and with the French team. Ugo, I knew him more as a player. But they are in places studded with talented guys. Ugo, even more so. This is also true for staff even if, having been there, we highlight managers.

You can develop…

The teams around them are important. In Toulouse, all the coaches have immense qualities. This club is incredible, already in its training from the youngest since I have the chance to often accompany my grandchildren aged 5 and 7 to training. I understand why, at 17 years old, these kids know how to play rugby. Ugo, as a manager, uses it very well. It’s hard to talk about one individual without talking about the rest. I am well placed to know, the quality of the manager is associated with the construction of the club. By Didier (The cross) on the staff, the positions are occupied by people trained here, with one or two exceptions like Jerome Kaino. Ugo’s job is to make it all work and to have highly competent people at his service. I am thinking of Clément Poitrenaud or Jean Bouilhou, who have a Toulouse identity to convey, also of Jérôme Cazalbou.

Can the observation be transposed to the UBB?

That’s the difference. Yannick is doing the same thing, but starting from further away today. Bordeaux Bègles is, in my opinion, a club more under construction at the moment and who may have missed certain steps. He has been to the semi-finals several times in recent years and took a step forward this season. Yannick is three or four years behind in construction, compared to Ugo. He is on the same path, because he knows where he comes from, where he wants to go and with whom.

Guy Novès knew the two managers of the Bordeaux-Toulouse Final well
Dave Winter / Icon Sport – Dave Winter

That’s to say ?

He brought back a Sharks coach (Noel McNamara, Editor’s note). There is also Jean-Baptiste Poux on the staff, whom he kept and whom we brought with the XV of France. He is attached to behavior, to rigor, to loyalty, and this shows.

You therefore underline the difference in maturity between the two institutions…

Yes. The Toulouse Stadium has been built for a very long time, and Ugo is changing things with his own personality. Yannick is building where there will perhaps be a heritage in some time. We must also highlight what Laurent Marti is putting in place, with quality recruitment thanks to which he brings spectacle and efficiency. The results are linked to the work done, this is true for both clubs. In Toulouse, there are a few injured but we have the impression that there are none. When we see that around fifty players have been used this season. When we used around thirty of them in my time, it was avant-garde…

Laurent Marti has always claimed to be inspired by the Toulouse model.

I believe he played as a junior in Toulouse and he is imbued, with his qualities as a big boss, with what he experienced there and the past and present success of the club. Yannick starts in Bordeaux with this vision that he has always had within him, because he was trained in it. He will develop it, if we give him the time and the means to get there.

Did you quickly see a future as a coach with them?

Yannick had his business and didn’t think about coaching at all. The first one to propose to him was me. Seeing him evolve sportingly on the field, then by his behavior and his personality around others, it seemed to me that he would make the cut. He went beyond my expectations since he won titles with Stade Toulouse and was coach of the French XV for six years. He also enriched his “Toulouse Stadium vision” through other adventures and other people. He has worked his way through a number of industries to be the boss he is today. Ugo, I saw him leave to train elsewhere, like Castres or Brive. It did not have systematic results but it was built. It shows that the quality of the club is very important. He has gained experience, in addition to his desire and his well-made head. I thought he had this quality and I proposed his name to René Bouscatel, who was president, when I left in 2015.

Why him ?

Because he’s a smart kid and he had that experience going for him. I suspected that he was capable of working well at Stade Toulouse.

We often talk about the Toulouse DNA, in which they were immersed. Toulouse and UBB are the two best attacks this season…

Above all, they have the will to win, because we tried to transmit this notion to them as a priority. I wanted to call Yannick after his match, but I didn’t do it because there are two great men meeting. At Stade Toulouse, you are not asked to hit the target. You do this every year. We ask you to reach the center of the target: to be champion. The season is already fantastic since the club is European champion but the victory runs in the veins of all the boys who have been there, like Ugo and Yannick.

That’s to say ?

When I hear Antoine Dupont, when interviewed after an extraordinary action, say: “It’s thanks to the pass or the behavior of others.” He never talks about himself but about others. That’s the DNA of Stade Toulouse. It’s understanding that, without others, you are nothing. Yannick is trained for this and will gradually imbue it wherever it is. We feel a little on edge today.

In what sense?

Certain absences are more detrimental in Bordeaux. This is the construction towards which Yannick will go. I know Ugo less, I haven’t worked with him but I see his experience from the outside. I read what he said on Friday. In Toulouse, we look at what went wrong in the semi-final and we are not happy with what happened. In Bordeaux, we are happy to be in the final and we almost have the impression that the season is successful. That’s the difference with Toulouse already aware that you have to be champion. There is still a story to be written. I believe that Yannick will convey this message: the objective has not been achieved. It is this march that presents itself for the UBB and for him.

Despite your love for Stade Toulouse, will your heart be a little divided on Friday?

I will let sporting logic decide (smile). We got the results we deserve. I spent so much time with Yannick that strong bonds were created. On the other hand, all the members of the Toulouse staff are people with whom I have experienced exceptional moments. I will watch with hindsight, while being relaxed.

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