Le meilleur du Point Presse d'avant-match avec Vincent Rattez, Facundo Bosch, Pierre Bourgarit...
In 1980 the new chairman Jacques Larrose went to Bayonne to search for Jean-Pierre Elissalde, who went to the Bask Country in 1978. The return of the prodigal son was in prospect to take charge of the first team as a coach/player at age 27, in order to save the weakened club.
The young coach endeavored to bring back enthusiasm and greatness to the club by bringing in two foreign players, Jim Kururangi (New Zealand) and David Hickey (Ireland). A 20 year long tenure intersected by a three year acting, after the relegation into group B in 1985, united the destinies of the redeveloping club and the coach with strong character.
Jean-Pierre Elissalde came back in 1988 to promote his club into the elite by accompanying the growth and maturing of the young Rochelais group. He was first accompanied by Francis Camblats, then by his scrum successor Jean-Marc Paillaugue and finally by Frédéric Uthurry.
When he came back to Charentais land, Jean-Pierre was on all fronts : victorious barriers, promotion to group A, the struggle to stay in the Top 20, qualification for Top 16, League Cups and 'Bouclier Européen', all while never forgetting his duty as a father and transmitting his passion to his talented son who was promised a bright future…
In 2003 Jean-Pierre left for Béziers. He then became a selector for Japan, before coaching Bayonne until the end of his career.
(Text written by Jean-Michel Blaizeau, historian)