France captain Guilhem Guirado is an incredible leader and the perfect man to skipper Les Bleus, according to Jean-Baptiste Élissalde.
Guirado has made 65 appearances for his country since his debut against Italy in the 2008 Championship and first captained them in 2015.
The hooker has been a staple of the French line-up for a number of years – with his last 33 international appearances all being starts – and a constant positive with his powerful carrying, solid scrummaging and reliable lineout throw.
The 32-year-old has captained Les Bleus through their tough start to the 2019 Guinness Six Nations – letting a 16-0 half-time lead slip in their Round One defeat to Wales before their biggest loss to England in over a century in Round Two, as they went down 44-8 at Twickenham.
But France assistant coach Elissalde – who made 35 appearances during his own eight-year international career – is adamant there is no-one better to lead the way for Jacques Brunel’s side.
“With Guilhem, there are three aspects: the rugby player, the captain and the man,” said Elissalde.
“It’s hard to stand in front of you, the press, after some of our results. But what character and what a leader of men! He is incredibly mentally strong.
“Guilhem is exemplary, on the field but especially in everything he brings during the week. You have to respect him.”
Guirado will be a key figure as the Guinness Six Nations returns next weekend, with France welcoming Scotland to Paris – where the Scots haven’t won in the Championship since 1999.