The coach of the Blues have unveiled a group of 37 players to prepare for the next Six Nations Tournament. The main surprise on this list is the summons of Donovan Taofifenua, the Racing 92 winger.
While uncertainty still hangs over the holding of the next Six Nations Tournament, Fabien Galthié unveiled on Monday the list of 37 players to prepare for the flagship competition in the northern hemisphere, with a trip to Italy to begin (February 6 ) and then receiving Ireland (February 13). After the good results signed since taking office (7 wins in 9 matches), the coach of the Blues had to face a problem of the rich, his team-type then the reservists having in turn shine during the Coupe d ‘ autumn of the nations.
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Four days of discussions with his deputies were necessary to arrive at a synthesis and write down the names of the lucky ones. We inevitably find the big bones of the players who had finished second in the last Tournament and who act as executives, like captain Charles Ollivon and scrum half Antoine Dupont. François Cros, Toulouse’s third row, has been called up, having just returned to the pitch after having suffered a foot injury against Ireland this fall.
Bourgarit has shaken up the hierarchy
Among the players who had shone at the end of the Autumn Nations Cup, when the usual holders had exhausted their credit of three match sheets, were again called the back of La Rochelle Brice Dulin (elected best player of this unprecedented competition), Toulon winger Gabin Villière, Castres flanker Anthony Jelonch, Pau Baptiste Pesenti’s second row or even Rochelais hooker Pierre Bourgarit, now number 3 in the hierarchy behind Julien Marchand and Camille Chat. To their advantage during the short setback conceded after extra time against the English (22-19), they were able to shake up the hierarchy and won their ticket to return to blue.
This list presents some small surprises, like the summons of the young winger of Racing 92 Donovan Taofifenua, who was preferred to Montpellier Vincent Rattez. The under-20 world champion shines since the start of the season with 8 tries in 11 matches. The latter had been summoned in early December, before the final against the XV de la Rose, but he had not honored his first cap with the XV of France. What should happen soon… The Francilien is one of three players with zero selection with his teammate, the pillar Henri-Georges Colombe and the center of the Stade Français Paris, Julien Delbouis. The Parisian was preferred by the staff to his club teammate Jonathan Danty and Lyonnais Pierre-Louis Barassi.
Another great promise for the future, the second row of Toulon Swan Rebbadj (1 selection) – who can also play in the third row – is also one of the lucky ones. In the end, six players can cover the second row position. Note, finally, the expected return of Clermont winger Damian Penaud, who had played only one match, lost against Scotland, with the XV of France in 2020. This is the the only ASM player selected from this list, while the Auvergne club has long been one of the main suppliers of internationals.
Fabien Galthié finally had to deal with the absences of his number 1 opener, the Toulousain Romain Ntamack (injured in the jaw and operated) and of the right pillar of Lyon Demba Bamba, affected in the neck. And a last-minute package, that of the UBB flanker, Cameron Woki, victim of a sprained ankle Sunday in Top 14.
It remains to be seen how and in what form the Tournament will take place. After the government’s request to postpone the European Cups until February, a meeting of public authorities will be held this Tuesday morning concerning the Tournament. The establishment of a “sanitary bubble” – as was done in particular in the NBA and for the final phase of the last Champions League in football – currently seems to be the only way for Fabien Galthié and his 37 players to compete. the century-old competition.