Raphaël Roggi, AS Monaco Rugby coach: “The club is ambitious”

AS Monaco Rugby

The new coach of AS Monaco Rugby, who arrived this summer from Club Athlétique Raphaëlo Fréjussien (CARF), spoke before the second match of the season against Cavaillon, this Sunday at 3pm. The chance to talk about the beginning of the season and the ambitions of the club.

What’s your analysis on the game you lost to US Mourillon (25-19) on the first day?

It was a complicated first game for us. We were a bit shaky in the first half, we struggled to get into the game. We took ten points in ten minutes. That’s too much. But little by little, we tried to get back into the game. We have new players who come from higher divisions and who didn’t know Federal 3. They were surprised by the aggressiveness and the atmosphere on the pitch. There is less play and much more fighting. In the end, we came away from the game frustrated. But we will go back to the basics.

Can the numerous recruits and the lack of automatism at the beginning of the season explain this first setback?

The cohesion is taking hold with the new players. It takes time to assimilate the game plan, with new players and a new staff. The foreign players or those who come from a higher level have to get their bearings. It’s not the same way of playing. The players have only known each other for a month and a half. Once it all clicks, we’ll have a great season, I’m sure of that. There are eighteen games left, we have time to work.  

To be in the top four in December at mid-season

What are AS Monaco Rugby’s ambitions this season?

We’d love the club to rise, that’s for sure. But the important thing for the moment is to be in the top four in December at mid-season. Only then will we be able to take stock and say that we are playing for the top.

What are your first impressions of your squad?

The group is very homogeneous, with experienced players and young players from the club. There is a strong competitive spirit because there is a lot of competition within the squad. This is a real bonus which will allow us to progress.

We want to remain unbeaten at home

How do you judge the evolution of the club?

The club is moving in the right direction. It is becoming more structured in all areas. In the B team, there are almost forty players. We have thirty in the first team. A total of seventy players in the senior team is very promising for a club like Monaco. The club is ambitious.

A word on your next opponent?

We have not yet been able to analyse this team because we’ve never met them. But we’ve heard that they are a well-structured team up front and efficient at the back. We can’t make mistakes in this first home game. The objective this year is not to lose any games at home. We want to remain unbeaten at home.

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