Charismatic figure in French rugby
Saturday 04 February 2006
Guy Basquet, rugby player: born Layrac, France 13 July 1921; married (two sons, two daughters); died Agen, France 1 February 2006.
Guy Basquet can lay claim to being one of the most influential and inspirational figures in French rugby history. As well as being a charismatic leader on the field, he became a shrewd if sometimes controversial operator off it, as team manager of the national side and vice-president of the French Rugby Federation.
He wrote his name into the French rugby history books by scoring a try in his country's first wins on Welsh and English soil in 1948 and 1951, two against Australia in the first French win over a Dominions team in 1948 and another on their first triumph at Murrayfield over Scotland in 1952.
The Agen No 8 was also captain of the Tricolours on all three occasions and led his country a record 24 times. From the time of his début on 22 December 1945, he missed only one game, due to injury in Argentina, before his retirement following a win over Italy in Milan on 17 May 1952.
By the end of his career, he had led France to victory in all the home unions and helped to drag French rugby up by its bootstraps to become a credible force on the international stage. He formed a formidable back-row trio with Jean Prat and Jean Mattheu, with whom he played a world-record 22 times, a figure that wasn't beaten until Lawrence Dallaglio, Neil Back and Richard Hill surpassed it for England.
Basquet won the first of his 33 caps in the "Victory" international against Wales in 1945 and was ever-present over the next seven years. As well as scoring one of the two tries at Twickenham that gave France a historic 11-3 win on 24 February 1951, he also scored in championship wins over Wales in Swansea in 1948, against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 1949 and Scotland at Murrayfield in 1952. He helped his club win the French Championship in 1945 and remained loyal to them throughout his life, being their president from 1985 until 1997. He also became president of the French Barbarians.
After hanging up his boots, he formed a remarkably powerful partnership with another Agen member, Albert Ferrasse, by taking firm control of the FFR (the French Rugby Federation). Basquet acted as vice-president to Ferrasse, who was not only president of the FFR but also of the European rugby body FIRA between 1985 and 1991. During that time, he became team manager of the French national side and was a key figure in developing the side that won France's first Grand Slam in 1968.
But as well as his many achievements, Basquet was also a highly controversial figure at times. He changed the style of play during his time as team manager and chairman of selectors, discarding many of the traditional playmakers, and ended up in a bitter feud with Ferrasse when the latter stepped down as president of the FFR in 1991.
Basquet wanted to remain in post and joined forces with another Agen clubmate, Albert Moga, in seeking re-election. They failed, and a long friendship turned sour. "He was angry with me, but I don't know why," said Ferrasse. "We knew each other for more than 50 years and I'd like to think that the duo of Ferrasse and Basquet will always be remembered."
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: I am currently recruiting level 3 n...
£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified Teacher w...
£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job:* The Tutor will prepar...