Blog Post


A XV of France transformed in ten months 

The group launched by Fabien Galthié ended Sunday in Edinburgh on its year 2020, replaced by a team of novices. The results are more than positive, even if there are still some points to improve.

In ten months, Fabien Galthié and his staff got the French team out of the rut in which it had been stuck for eight years. Seven matches, six wins, smiles and lots of promise. Unfortunately, the League emerged victorious from the standoff initiated by the Federation and obtained that each Blue is mobilized only three times during this fall stuffed with six tests. In the group with which the coach has worked since his appointment, they are an 18 to have finished. And even if we add the wounded, François Cros and Anthony Bouthier.

»READ ALSO – Charles Ollivon: “We don’t want it to stop anymore”

To conclude this tour – against Italy next Saturday then the final of the Autumn Nations Cup (probably against England) a week later – the survivors can be counted on the fingers of one hand: Baptiste Serin, Romain Ntamack and Teddy Thomas. Who can only play one of the two matches. To complete the group, the staff recalled a few former (Dulin, Atonio), but above all fifteen novices, including a Pro D2 player (Sacha Zegueur, Oyonnax). “It will be a different story with another team. We start from zero from Monday, insisted Fabien Galthié. It’s going to be very different. ” At a time when the new executives are temporarily bowing out, a first assessment is required.

What is (much) better

Revelations, revelations, revelations

Manager Raphaël Ibanez, Fabien Galthié and his assistants had worked a lot before taking office. To find nuggets, relaunch others. The result is remarkable. We can no longer count the Blues who already seem essential. In front, from 1 to 8, it’s clear. If it is necessary to leave the names, Paul Willemse and François Cros surprised and amazed. Confident and empowered, Charles Ollivon, the new captain, and Grégory Alldritt exploded. Vakatawa and Fickou are imperial behind. And what about the Dupont-Ntamack hinge? 22 years of average age and already all of the greatest. The Julien Marchand and “Momo” Haouas bets proved to be the winners, except for the latter’s red card in March in Scotland. Full-back Anthony Bouthier was not expected at this level. Let’s add a few impeccable linings: Dylan Cretin in the third row, the pillar Jean-Baptiste Gros or the center Arthur Vincent. And the workforce begins to thicken.

»READ ALSO – How the XV of France became a great team again

A framework and daring

The staff leaves nothing to chance. The playing field is carefully set, physical condition forged with high intensity training and freedom encouraged. Which finally gives a common thread to the Blues, legs and breath to impose rhythm and daring at each opportunity. For tests, many tests, of high class which have given back the smile to all lovers of the XV of France. The legendary Flench Flair has even emerged from the history books to praise these fiery young Roosters.

Already character

A young and inexperienced team but already sure of itself, of its strengths, of its ambitions. These young men have talent but that would not be enough. They also show an already asserted character. And share the same values: self-giving, generosity. A solidarity that is obvious in defense. All these Blues say they enjoy coming to Marcoussis, playing together (unlike their predecessors) and it shows. This team seems in any case safe from a collective resignation and, even, from individualistic deviations.

What (still) needs to be improved

A puzzle to complete

With the ladle, we will say that Fabien Galthié and his staff can rely on 25 players, between already essential holders and liners who ensure the relay. However, they are missing some parts to no longer fear the packages, the drop in speed. So to the wings. Teddy Thomas disappoints regularly and Vincent Rattez shows himself only intermittently. Arthur Retière did not seem to convince the coach. The proof, with each forfeit, Galthié calls Gaël Fickou to the rescue to place him on the wing. Where the Parisian shows himself to his advantage. It remains to be hoped that, among the Clermontois Alivereti Raka, the Toulousain Matthis Lebel and the Toulonnais Gabin Villière, summoned to complete this tour, some are revealed and imposed. Without forgetting Damian Penaud, the great unlucky one of this year 2020 (only 1 selection and lots of physical problems) whose return is eagerly awaited. He should then get everyone to agree …

»READ ALSO – XV of France: Barraque, Lebel and Moefana called for Italy

Another fragile sector is the hinge. Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack are above the rest. But let one of them fail and the whole edifice goes downhill. Baptiste Serin has not yet fully convinced and Baptiste Couilloud has not yet played. At the opening, Matthieu Jalibert once again disappointed in Scotland. Louis Carbonel pawns impatiently. It is up to him, when he is launched, to establish himself as Ntamack’s lining. Doubts also existed for the rear position. But Thomas Ramos seems solid in the relay of Anthony Bouthier. The returning Brice Dulin and the novice Gervais Cordin are awaited with interest.

Last post in (relative) suffering, that of second-line. Bernard Le Roux, the impeccable and indispensable dean of this team, and Paul Willemse have pushed the competition very far. Romain Taofifenua, who enters each match, does not really convince. Four novices will be launched in the last two matches – Lyonnais Killian Geraci, Toulonnais Swan Rebbadj, Bayonnais Baptiste Pesenti, Bordelais Cyril Cazeaux – with a real opportunity to be seized.

Discipline required

This is the only black point of this XV of France: his chronic indiscipline. 30 cumulative penalties against Wales and Ireland. It was a little better Sunday in Edinburgh (9 penalties and a free kick conceded) but it still lacks control. Particularly in the rucks risk zone. A sector identified by the staff. Who insists on the right behavior to have, between necessary commitment and superfluous aggressiveness. A message that is slow to bear fruit. But let’s bet it will come. Discipline is certainly the easiest evil to rectify. And as Fabien Galthié says, it is easier to lower the cursor than to lack desire …

Which Blues have finished, or almost

Have 3 match sheets and can no longer play
First line: Cyril Baille, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Julien Marchand, Camille Chat, Mohamed Haouas, Demba Bamba
Second row: Bernard Le Roux, Paul Willemse, Romain Taofifenua
Third line: Charles Ollivon, Grégory Alldritt, Dylan Cretin
Hinge: Antoine Dupont
Three-quarters: Gaël Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent, Vincent Rattez, Thomas Ramos

Have 2 match sheets
Third row: François Cros (injured)
Hinge: Baptiste Serin, Romain Ntamack (not selected for Italy)
Three quarters: Teddy Thomas, Anthony Bouthier (injured)

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *