XV France – Laurent Sempéré: “The French team? Above all, a mission”

Laurent Sempéré (Stade Français forwards coach) – Midi Olympique announced last Monday that Stade Français forwards coach Laurent Sempéré has agreed terms with Fabien Galthie to join the France squad after the 2023 World Cup. For the first time since this announcement. and the ex-prostitute speaks exclusively for Midi Olympique.

Did you expect head coach Fabien Galthié to be asked to coach the France XV?

The French team is so high, so strong that I didn’t dare to think about it. But I was very impressed when I found out that Fabie was interested in me. It was a great honor. I also knew that he was talking to other potential candidates at the same time. He never hid it. We had several discussions and when he announced that he had chosen me after much deliberation, it was a moment of great pride. Knowing that I will be working with the best is an opportunity. However, I believe that coaching the French national team is not an expected job.

How were the first contacts?

It was Fabien who supervised the temporality of our exchanges and observed my work. I could see that every time he asked me questions about specific topics, he had done some research beforehand. Fabien set up a process and over time our exchanges became more and more precise. But I always felt the will in him to focus 100% on my club so as not to destabilize me. It is no coincidence that each of our exchanges took place during less intense periods of sport.

You have never been international during your playing career, is this revenge?

It’s not worth it.


I am satisfied with my football career. I had time to analyze the reasons why I didn’t get a chance to wear the blue jersey. When I played, my goal was to make those around me better, to ensure that the team was successful and that the result was positive. It’s always been my philosophy. I knew it wasn’t the best way to present myself personally. But I was always convinced that it was the best for the team. Then there were better players than me.

Where does this thinking come from?

Some will say this is my Catalan side (laughs). I believe more that it comes from my education and my roots. I come from a family of entrepreneurs where the value of work is important, where we try to lead by example and get people working together for quality work. And it helps me a lot in my coaching career.


A coach who starts his day at 6 in the morning sometimes thinks that he is the only one who works so hard. I just often call my brother Bastien when I go to the stadium at that time. And he is already at work. It’s the same in the evening. When I come home late and call him, sometimes he is still at his desk, sometimes he goes home. It has no external recognition beyond the eyes of its employees or the personal satisfaction of a job well done. And yet his responsibility is great. To be clear, if I have to be disappointed, it’s my inability to fulfill myself in the business world because it’s a deeply ingrained factor in my family.

They say that you are a Stakhanovite. How are your days?

My days and weeks are completely dedicated to my club. Like all coaches in the championship. That’s why my life is dedicated to rugby, but also to the life of my family. I would also like to thank my wife who, despite her professional life, allows me to focus on training seven days a week. He is a great support for me.

In other squads, we see that there are several technicians for the forward play, but you are the only one who controls it in the French stadium. Why?

Scrum, touch, scrum zones or running forward play alone is my choice. It was my choice from the beginning. I wanted to master every aspect of the coaching profession. It’s a lot of responsibility, it allowed me to learn and develop faster.

You’ve only been coaching for four years, isn’t it too soon to take charge of the France XV?

I think I’m up for the challenge. For the past four years, I have set milestones for my club every year thanks to my players. It is a good time to continue to be enthusiastic, to seek another environment, a higher level. This is a call that comes at the right time.

Did you hesitate before accepting Fabien Galthie’s offer?

The French team is above all a mission. There were no questions to ask.

Already know how to work with William Servat?

It’s still early. Obviously, we exchanged with William, which was important to Fabien. The flow went very well. Everyone knows he is a great technician. It’s really exciting in human relationships. We have tested our compatibility and it is definitely good. Now, we both have exciting projects to implement in the coming months. Everyone should stay focused on their current missions.

Some of your players went to head of recruitment Christophe Mony regarding future director of rugby Laurent Labit and asked you to stay on the coaching staff for next season. Have you made a request to participate in this project?

First, when I announced the information about my departure to Midi Olympique to the French team, I felt that the players were happy for me. I got a lot of testimonials from them. I appreciated because they are people who mean a lot to me. For a very large part of them, I had the chance to choose and hire them. That is why I am very attached to everyone individually. They were great with me when I told them. It moved me. As for your question, I am 100% invested in my mission until the end of the season. The next episode will no longer be my story. But the club will remain in safe hands with Laurent Labit and Karim Gezal.

They say your strength is finding and recruiting players who marry well with your system, the high-potential players you’ve developed. How do you operate?

My main motivation is to see my players progress both as a sport and as a person. You just need to find receptive people who follow because it requires a lot of seriousness and demands. These are important criteria for me. I was lucky enough to participate in the selection of men. Thomas Lombard and Gonzalo Quesada have always trusted me in this mission.

Do you regret leaving the Stade Français at the end of the season, when you start to regain your successful performance?

The French stadium is beautiful when it works. Otherwise, even if you’re never bored, less so (laughs). I don’t regret it. After that, like all breakups, it’s never easy. It was difficult for me to leave Perpignan, my training club, my region, my family. Today, I have many connections with the French stadium. Fifteen years of shared life cannot be erased with a simple wave of the hand. I want to finish the season in the best possible way.

Do you feel that your view has changed since the disclosure?

I especially feel that there are more views (laughs). But I never grew it. I especially want the eyes to be on the players. When the players are highlighted, it’s the best way to reward my work.

Did you dream of becoming a coach one day during your football career?

When they asked me, I always answered that I would never be a coach. Despite everything, I often interfered with the touchline and jealousy of the club’s youngsters. When Thomas Lievremont was the manager of this team, I was a consultant for the French under-20 team at his request. Then some of my coaches like David Auradou, Patricio Noriega or Olivier Azam also let me participate in thinking about forward game strategies. I was doing it more for the sake of passing, not aiming for a career as a coach. And then the opportunity arose in 2019. I started this career with an extraordinary partner, Julien (Arias). He represents everything that is done well at the Stade Français.

It is said that you have a very active management with the players…

Sharing the message is important. The best way to share this is to have the decision approved by the whole group. That’s why I try to give meaning to my message and my choices. I want the players to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Both in technical aspects and in the philosophy of what a group of players can achieve. It is a part of me, a part of my baggage. A baggage that I build a little more every day through meetings, exchanges.


I like to feed myself with people from different horizons and universes, people who work perfectly. I had the chance to meet the pilots of the airline where I worked on communication systems. Air France recently decided not to fly its pilots in pairs. Until a few years ago, the pilot and co-pilot worked in tandem. This is no longer the case today. Couples are constantly changing. Very precise processes have been put in place as well as very advanced communication systems. These systems should be simple and accurate at the same time. I tried to turn them into rugby. It also helped me a lot with related ads. There are different nationalities in one team. The choice of words and names of compounds is decisive. Players must have a common language, this is important. And again the same process. These exchanges are invaluable to me. I also discussed with big names in the field of finance or Polytechnic. The market analysis was explained to me. There are parallels to be made in terms of competitor analysis, quick decision making… I’m very inspired by people who aim to reach a very high level.

Which coaches influenced you?

They all inspired me in varying degrees. My teachers are the ones I keep in my heart. This passion for rugby was passed on to me. When I started this sport, I was fortunate enough to be the president extraordinaire at USA Pia XV.

How important was it to you?

Hélène Costal is an extraordinary woman. Rugby took her husband away from her. She became president and organized the tournament every year on behalf of her husband. He took care of us like his children. You should know that Pia is a stronghold of rugby league. Back then, many kids chose XIII because it was the highest experience level. But he was able to unite the children of the village and transmit the virus to us.

In 2015, Stade Français coach Jean-Frédéric Dubois called up to join the France XV squad under Guy Novès. The French champion left the title. Is this a dream for you?

Jeff had such a chance. It was an extraordinary adventure that year. The group offered him this great ride. This was clearly the result of his hard work. Today, the group writes another story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *