France: Rose Thomas

French Olympian adds Gallagher High Performance Academy to her impressive CV

Winning France’s Elite One Championship with her club, Stade Bordelais, persuaded Rose Thomas to move into coaching.

As a player, Thomas competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, She was a regular for France on the international sevens circuit and helped her Bordeaux-based club win France’s top club competition for women, with victory over Blagnac in the 2022-23 final.

It was winning the national championship that helped Thomas decide to make the transition from playing into coaching, and she has taken her first steps as assistant coach, with responsibility for the backs at Stade Bordelais.

“I realised that I wanted to be a coach after we won the French Championship title. I wanted to share my experience differently to that as a team-mate,” Thomas told World Rugby.

“Through my various experiences I have learned that communication is important. With the players and other coaches, we are open to communication and think that is very important.”

Thomas will have the opportunity to hone those communication skills and develop new ones on the Gallagher High Performance Academy.

“I think the programme is important because today there are still not enough women represented in the upper echelons of rugby,” she said.

“Many former players aspire to coaching careers, but very few positions are open.

“This programme will help women to position themselves with more assurance; giving them key points and helping them to find their coaching mind-set.”

Thomas’s own coaching mind-set has been shaped by working with David Courteix, who guided France to the 2016 Olympics and a silver medal four years later in Tokyo.

“I think he has been able to adapt his coaching to new generations of players, which is why he is still on the circuit after more than 10 years,” she said.

Last updated: Feb 22, 2024, 2:16:08 PM