Philippe Bernat-Salles

Philippe Bernat-Salles
Bernat-Salles at the 2013 Hand Star Game
Date of birth (1970-02-17) 17 February 1970
Place of birth Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 177 lb (80 kg)
Occupation(s) Canal+ sports consultant
Rugby commentator
Rally driver
Camping site owner
Sports administrator
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Wing
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
AS Idron-Lee
US Capbreton
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1992-2001 France France 41 (130)
correct as of 5 July 2014.
Coaching career
Years Club / team
2006-2007 US Capbreton (backs coach)

Philippe Bernat-Salles (born 17 February 1970 in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques) is a retired French Rugby Union player, usually playing as a wing. His main skill was a blinding speed, while he was also visually striking due to his unruly mop of gray hair.

Club career

Bernat-Salles went through the youth teams of Bizanos before joining AS Idron-Lee, in which first XV he debuted at the age of 16.[1]

In 1987, while working as an apprentice electrician,[2] Bernat-Salles joined the high-level club closest to where he lived, Pau, where he gained his first international caps and remained until 1996, at the start of the professional era, when he moved to Bordeaux-Bègles.

After one season at Bordeaux, Bernat-Salles moved back to Pau. Again after one year, he joined Biarritz, where he remained for seven seasons.

In 2005, after it had been announced that he would join the ambitious second division side Tarbes,[3] Bernat-Salles surprised everybody by joining lowly US Capbreton[4] in Fédérale 3 (that is, the fifth division of French rugby). In 2006-07, finally, while acting as US Capbreton's backs coach, he was a part of Tarbes's roster alongside his old Pau and France teammate Philippe Carbonneau, but ended the season having played only one first XV game[5] and retired from active rugby.

International career

Bernat-Salles won his first cap for the French national team on 14 November 1992 against Argentina.[6]

Although he was not considered during the 1993 Five Nations Championship, he went on to win his next six caps in the following summer and autumn tours.[7] He played only one game (against Ireland) in 1994 and two in 1995,[7] and was not considered for that year's World Cup. Again in 1996 he was selected only once, while in 1997 he was ignored for the Five Nations but played three games in the summer tour to Romania and Australia.[7] In 1998 he finally became a constant feature of the French XV, scoring in the process the first try ever scored at the Stade de France.[8] He maintained his position in 1999, being selected for the World Cup where he played five games, including the historical semifinal win against New Zealand, in which he scored a try[9] and the final against Australia.[10]

He then played four internationals in 2000 (two in the Six Nations and two, against New Zealand, during the summer tests) and concluded his international career in 2001, when he won his last five caps. His final international tally is of 41 caps with 26 tries, summing up to 130 points scored.[7][11]

Outside of rugby

Before starting his professional career, Philippe Bernat-Salles worked as an electrician.[2] After his retirement, besides working for Canal+ as a consultant and sometimes commentator, he owns a camping site in Labenne-Ocean.[12][13]

He had planned to compete in the 2008 Dakar Rally[14][15] alongside Gilles Lafeuillade on a Bowler, but the race was canceled at the eleventh hour due to the fear of a terrorist attack.[16]

Bernat-Salles competed in the 2009 edition of the race, again alongside Lafeuillade and on a Bowler, in the Équipe Team 100% Sud Ouest,[17][18] ending the race in 73rd place.[19]

In June 2010, Bernat-Salles has been elected President of the French Handball National League (Ligue Nationale de Handball).[20]


  1. "Bernat Salles's short bio (in French)". Pau-Pyrénées Tourisme. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
  2. 1 2 Sylvain Muzeau (2002). "interview (in French)". Retrieved 2009-09-17.
  3. "2005 D1 transfers". 2005-07-07. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  4. "Capbreton fans' surprise". Capbreton fans site. 2005-08-25. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  5. "Tarbes 2006-07". L'Equipe. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  6. "France v Argentina 1992". ESPN/ Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Bernat-Salles's international career". ESPN/ Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  8. Luke Edwards (February 2008). "6 Nation stadiums records". EMP-Sport. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  9. "1999 World Cup semi". BBC Sport. 1999-10-31. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  10. "1999 World Cup final". BBC Sport. 1999-11-06. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  11. "Bernat-Salles's international profile (FFR)". FFR. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  12. "Camping "La Mer" homepage". Camping "La Mer". Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  13. "Surfing in Capbreton". Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  14. "Team 4x4 Off Road Club". Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  15. Marie-France Estenave (2008-01-02). "Interview to Bernat-Salles on the 2008 Dakar (in French)". la Depeche. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  16. "Dakar 2008 canceled". Eurosport. 2008-01-04. Archived from the original on August 7, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  17. "Équipe Team 100% Sud Ouest". Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  18. François Quivoron (2009-01-02). "Interview to Bernat-Salles on the 2009 Dakar (in French)". Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  19. "Dakar 2009 - final ranking (cars)". 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  20. "Philippe Bernat-Salles, nouveau président de la LNH (in French)". Fédération Française de Handball. 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2010-11-15.

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