We will remember him as a great leader, a visionary and a great gentleman," said Bill Beaumont, the boss of World Rugby, the international federation, in front of the 600 people gathered in the cathedral of Tarbes.
Bernard Lapasset was in turn President of the French Rugby Federation from 1991 to 2008 and then of the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby), until 2016, before co-chairing the bid committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
See alsoBernard Lapasset, great servant of French sport
The President of the Organizing Committee of the 2024 Olympic Games, Tony Estanguet, was also present and delivered a speech full of emotion in front of the bereaved family of the Haut-Pyrénéen.
In sport, we are used to celebrating victories and taking defeats, but Bernard was a champion apart because he almost never lost, "he said, remembering the "tandem" he formed with Bernard Lapasset to obtain the organization of the Games.
Many personalities of French rugby were also present, from the former captains of the XV of France Fabien Pelous and Thierry Dusautoir, to the coaches Marc Lièvremont (2007-2011) and Bernard Laporte (1999-2007).
Fabien Pelous spoke in the cathedral of Tarbes LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP
I worked alongside him for eight years, I had a closeness with him that makes me have many memories and that today is a painful day, "said Bernard Laporte, also former president of the FFR.