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Tough challenge for new coach

30.1.2005 For Immediate Release

January 31, 2005

Christian Galonnier takes over from his fellow Frenchman Michel Bernardin as a coach of the Czech national team. Michel Bernardin (60) retired last year because of health reasons. He joins the team at a training camp held in Hyeres near Toulon in Southern France on February 6th.

Galonnier (45) works as a rugby advisor of the Youth and Sports Board of the Hautes-Pyrénées region.

Galonnier already watched the Czechs play in Prague in November. The team was lead by his two player-assistants, Martin Pekacek and Jan Machacek. The two are currently sidelined because of injury.

The new coach faces selection problems as many of the players have difficulties in making themselves available for the games.

Many of the players have full time employments and wouldn't risk their employment for a €15-per-working-day remuneration offered by the CSRU.

There are about 15 players in the team playing abroad in competitions at various levels. In France, there are two players in PRO D2, six in Federale 1 and about five other playing in other competitions. In England, there are three players playing National Division Two. There are some other players playing minor competitions in Wales, Spain, Germany.


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Jan Machacek, director media

Czech Rugby Union

+420 777 699966,


Czech Rugby News Archive