XV of France in favorite dress

They’re back, they’re all there, or almost. Currently, Toulouse put time aside because of the Covid, with Antoine Dupont-Romain Nutamac at the forefront. Bordeaux’s Mathieu Jalibert’s opener, who was injured in the thigh or column of La Rochelle Uni Atonio, was also unavailable at the start of the internship. France’s XV finds itself almost in full force at the Foreign Legion camp in Aubigne (Bouches-du-Rhne) this week to complete preparations for a Six Nations tournament that everyone knows will be decisive.

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Because after a long phase of his rise to power, here is the XV of France when it comes to keeping his promises. “We have passed the implementation of our project, now it’s time to go and win competitions”, Before the final week of development approached, coach Fabian Galthy’s assistant Laurent Lebitt hammered.

a friendly calendar

Ireland, with two victories on the wire (15-13) and Wales (32-30), but with two victories against Scotland (23-27) and England (23), forgot second place snatched in 2021. -20). Since then, it has been an autumn tour with this display of mastery against the New Zealand Giants (40-25) on November 20, 2021. Something to flatter the budding reputation of the blues, and suddenly stick them with your favorite outfit of this 2022 tournament.

It must be said that the conditions are also favorable. The Blues will restart the machine against Italy this Sunday, February 6 at the Stade de France. An elementary comfortable warm-up. The Italians certainly present themselves this year with a new coach, New Zealander Kieran Crowley, the former world champion in 1987, who did an outstanding job of raising Canada’s level between 2008 and 2016. But the fact remains that this Italy did not win a single match in the tournament for seven years (22–19 in Scotland in February 2015).

In this same year, the Blues will be able to take advantage of their public’s support for Ireland’s welcome (12 February), also very fitting for last fall by bringing down the All Blacks (29–20), and for that of England. , whose younger generation is already too ambitious, but who denounces the package over the injury of opening strategist Owen Farrell at the end of the tournament (March 19). Thanks to the calendar: It’s good news to take home two of your main rivals, as this weekend of rest between a trip to Scotland (26 February) and a trip to Wales (11 March) looms large.

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The two obviously won’t be a walk in the park, but at the top of their game the Blues always looking for continuity should be Scottish training, and the Welsh lost to injuries this year. A handful of key holders will not be on the bench like legendary captain Alun Wynn Jones (148 caps), hooker Kane Owens (91 caps) or rear Leigh Halfpenny (100 caps).

keep promises

So, really favorite, blues? ” No doubtConvinces the new Welsh captain Dan Bigger. The French eventually have a better organized team, but still with this flair and the ability to turn to the game suddenly. England coach Eddie Jones was also ready to put the pressure on his best enemies: “Bernard Laporte, the great master of French rugby” (Editor’s note, President of the French Rugby Federation) Great job done and the clubs have had success working with the Federation, so you have no more excuses! ,

By concluding a training session last week with a motivational talk, let’s go to one of the most underrated of the current blues, Gail Fikou (66 selections): “This year, it’s for us! » However, they are careful not to wear this cumbersome overcoat too quickly: “We don’t specifically take this position as a favourite, but of course we’re looking for a title here, because that’s what we lack at the moment, and we also lack, well, favorites. to accept this position”Toulon shifts winger Gabin Villier.

Caution is not just a pretense. These still-virgin records aren’t the blues bragging types. But they know full well that now is not the time to hide behind their little finger, and counters really need to be raised to give full credibility to this subtle project that will lead them to the title of world champion at home in 2023. should go. The adventure has certainly started two years ago, the first chapters are written quite well, but it is time to give continuity to the story. Expected reading pleasure.


Les Blues begins its preparation

France’s women begin their preparations for the XV tournament, with 38 players to be selected, this Monday, 7 February in Bastia. Due to the pandemic, like last year, the women’s competition has been postponed and scheduled after the men’s and under 20 years of age from 27 March to 30 April. A formula defended by the Six Nations Committee, debated “High audience figures” and of “More engagement on social networks” Last year. At home, France’s XV will play against Italy in Grenoble (27 March), Ireland in Toulouse (April 2), and face England in Bayonne (30 April).

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