A SIDEWAYS GLANCE: ‘Le Consequence? Defend the maul… peut-etre carton jaune’ – No nonsense Shaun Edwards might be murdering the language of love but France clearly have no trouble deciphering his Wigan twang in the Six Nations
- A clip of Shaun Edwards addressing the France rugby squad emerged this week
- The defence coach used some outstanding ‘Franglish’ in his Wigan accent
- The team clearly have no trouble getting the message after a strong start to their Six Nations campaign with wins over Italy and Ireland
First, a disclaimer: the aim here is not to mock Shaun Edwards.
Quite the opposite, in fact. This is a sign of our admiration (okay, and perhaps a little bit of our amusement).
For those who enjoy a peek behind the curtain of elite sport, a clip emerged this week. It shows Edwards, the France defence coach, leading a video analysis session with his squad.
Shaun Edwards hasn’t quite mastered French but has no trouble getting his ideas across
It is a glorious, 17-second glimpse into one of the sharpest minds in rugby, whose body of work grows more impressive with every drilled Six Nations display by Les Bleus.
But this rare snippet offers more than insight into France’s defensive tactics. It provides two fundamental lessons: First? The best coaches distil even the most high-level lessons into simple messages that can be easily understood.
Second, and arguably more important? There is perhaps no greater sound than a blend of broken French and thick Wigan twang.
Yep, Edwards is delivering his clinic in the local tongue. At least partially. A no-nonsense bloke, moulded in the fires of Rugby League, blitzing the language of love.
Exactly what pearls of wisdom he is imparting is not easy to deduce in 17 seconds.
Nor can the written word ever do justice to the majesty of Edwards’ Franglish accent.
Edwards’ first class ‘Franglish’ was delivered with conviction and the players listened intently
But here’s a flavour to whet the appetite: ‘Le consequence?’ Edwards says from in front of the projector.
‘Defend the maul, defend the pick-and-go. Peut-etre carton jaune, peut-etre penalty essai.’
I’m sure you get the gist. Recent performances suggest the France squad understand him no problem, too.
They certainly seem to be paying close attention during this session.
The latest proof, of course, will be in the success Scotland enjoy against France’s defensive line next Saturday.
France beat their likeliest Six Nations challengers Ireland last weekend to firm up top spot
The influx of foreign coaches to these shores has perhaps numbed us to quite how difficult it must be to articulate your ideas in a second tongue.
It requires huge ballons to try. Edwards is taking French lessons every week but the nuanced lingo of rugby is harder to teach than directions to the boulangerie.
And therein lies true genius: how do Edwards and Co manage to translate limited vocabulary into such transformative results?