FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Bulgaria


 FRA / France - Team Composition

Team manager Castan Gérard
Head coach Blain Philippe
Assistant coach Trillon Jocelyn
Doctor Blanc Jacques
Therapist / trainer Andréa Jean-Paul
Journalist Degoulet Guillaume
    No.   Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block
  1 José Trèfle Trefle 16.01.1980 198 92 352 325
  2   Jenia Grebennikov Grebennikov 13.08.1990 188 85 345 300
  3 Gérald Hardy-Dessources Hardy-Dessources 09.02.1983 197 93 360 335
  4   Antonin Rouzier Rouzier 18.08.1986 200 102 350 330
  5 Ludovic Castard Castard 18.01.1983 197 95 348 325
  6   Benjamin Toniutti Toniutti 30.10.1989 183 72 320 300
  7 Nicolas Marechal Marechal 04.03.1987 198 93 338 327
  8   Marien Moreau Moreau 25.10.1983 201 100 345 328
  9 Guillaume Samica Samica 28.09.1981 198 88 355 327
  10   Jean-Philippe Sol Sol 01.01.1986 198 92 345 325
  11 Nicolas Rossard Rossard 23.05.1990 183 64 315 305
  12   Earvin Ngapeth Ngapeth 12.02.1991 194 96 358 327
  C 13 Pierre Pujol Pujol 13.07.1984 186 90 335 315
  14   Meliuahel Takaniko Takaniko 29.05.1985 194 92 340 330
  15 Samuele Tuia Tuia 24.07.1986 195 95 345 325
  16   Kevin Tillie Tillie 02.11.1990 200 85 345 325
  17 Horacio D'Almeida D'Almeida 11.06.1988 200 109 355 330
  L 18   Jean-François Exiga Exiga 09.03.1982 176 75 320 312
  19 Yacine Louati Yacine Louati 04.03.1992 198 92 345 320
  20   Kevin Le Roux Le Roux 11.05.1989 209 95 365 345
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team profile

 The French Men’s National Team announced their arrival as one of the best teams in the world when they finished second to Brazil in the 2006 FIVB World League Finals in Moscow.

The French, who finished fifth in the first-ever World League in 1990, negociated a tricky passage through to the Finals, playing in Russia, China and Italy.

By the end of August, it was mission accomplished. Head Coach Philippe Blain’s Men had booked themselves a place in Moscow after winning Pool matches against the Russians, Italians and Chinese, home and away.

In the Final, France lost in five sets to Brazil, but it was still their crowning glory so far in the world of Volleyball, and set them up nicely for the 2006 FIVB World Championship in Japan.

France had won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIVB World Championship in Buenos Aires, their first appearance in the tournament in 12 years moving them from 10th to fifth in the FIVB world rankings, and after their silver medal at the 2003 European Championship and the impressive World League performance three years later they had every right to be in a confident mood.

The 2006 World Championships started very well for the French when they beat Brazil, which would prove to be the only defeat of the event for the eventual winners.

Unfortunately, the young French team did not capitalize on the Brazil result and a few days later lost to Germany, which negated all the benefits of the Brazil win.

During the second phase, France lost to Bulgaria in an incredible game, killing off any lingering hopes of French glory and they finally finished sixth after losing to Italy in a Playoff.

In the 2007 World League Preliminary Round, the French were up against Japan, Italy and USA. Victims of the Americans, the French missed out on first place in their Pool. Blain and his players were given a lifeline, though, with a wild card for the final phase in Katowice, Poland. But after losing a five-set match against Poland, the French team are on their way home.

The French had to quickly pick themselves up in November 2007 for the European Championship in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Bad news struck, though, when Blain lost three of his major players. Frantz Granvorka and Oliver Kieffer were injured just before leaving France, and Pierre Pujol was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after injuring his ankle in the first set of the first game against Slovakia.

Even so, France started well with two victories versus Slovakia and Slovenia before losing to Spain. But in this second phase, the French lost against Serbia, Netherlands and Germany to finish ninth.

In 2008, France missed the main goal of the last years: participation to the Olympic Games. After this terrible disappointment, Philippe Blain squad did not make a success of the world League on 2008. Third of its group in front of Brazil and of Serbia, France will end on the 10th place.

In 2009, the French had the opportunity to reach the Final Six in the World League. Serbia, host country for the final, was qualified but France failed to take the second ticket on the last game in Argentina. In the middle of the summer, France booked the qualification for World Championships in Poland after beating Slovakia and Slovenia. Bad news: Pierre Pujol, the setter, was injured for 3 months and Loïc Le Marrec decided to retire from international team.

In Turkey, for the European championships, French squad was not attempted for the final round. Two new setters completed the team and Yannick Bazin started to lead the games with success: step by step France reached the Main Round and the Final round after beating the European holder, Spain. In semi-final, France was leading 2-0 against Russia and was close to lose after 2-2 and 9-13. But Philippe Blain players came back and Guillaume Samica, with a last ace, concluded the match (17-15).

In the final, Poland beat France (3-1) to conquer the European title. Antonin Rouzier (best scorer), Hubert Henno and Stéphane Antiga were elected in the all star team. France, six years after, clinched the silver medal in the European Championships.

In 2010, France played the FIVB World League (with Serbia, China and Italia) but didn’t reach the final round. After a very good start in the World championships 2010 in Italy, French team missed to enter the last four and had to play the ranking matches. France finished at the 11th place. During the winter, three top players decided to retire form the national team: Hubert Henno, Libero, Stéphane Antiga and captain Oliver Kieffer.


In 2011, French squad took the 7th place at the European Championship hold in Austria and Czech Republic. In Tourcoing (France), French failed to qualify for the European Tournament Qualifying for OG: they lost in semi-final vs Belgium. Last chance for French squad will be the one of the last three tournaments for London in Germany or Italy, from 8th to 10th June.


With Italy, Usa and Korea Republic, the Blues will try to perform in the FIVB World League 2012, to prepare qualification for the Olympic games in London 2012.

Coach profile

 FIVB Coaching Commission President Philippe Blain, named France's Head Coach in 2001, also enjoyed a successful playing career. He played 340 times for the French National Team from 1980 to 1991 and was elected MVP at the 1986 FIVB World Championships and 1987 European Championships.

He started his professional career as a setter with the French Junior Team, a position he also played in the French National Championship, before changing to receiver for the French Senior National Team. He ended his professional career at Italian Club Cuneo before devoting himself to training players, taking charge at Italy’s Cuneo and France’s Cannes and Sète Arago.

The highlights of the 50-year-old’s career so far as France Head Coach are a bronze medal at the 2002 World Championships in Argentina, silver at the 2003 and 2009 European Championships, qualification for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and silver at the 2006 World League Finals.

At the end of the 2012 international season – October – French Association will nominate a new head coach. Before, Philippe Blain wishes to qualify the French Squad for Olympic games in London.