France-Wales: For France’s XV, one last one on the road before the World Cup


The France team was united as ever during the match against England, March 11 at Twickenham. Adrian Dennis/AFP

On Saturday, the Blues will play their last official match against Wales, before the big meeting in the World Cup in France.

Share cherished time so Fabian GalthiHe approaches his goal. In just over three years – in January 2020 – the coach has taken control of France’s XV. He is about to draw his 35H Match at the helm for the Blues on Saturday (3:45pm, France 2) against Wales in the Six Nations final. The last official before the World Cup France. There will be four ‘friendlies’ in August (twice in Scotland, Australia and Fiji), but they will have no other bets than to improve preparation for the planetary competition and reduce the 42-man squad to 33 units (revealed on June 21) selected for two months. of summer training.

Over the seasons, Fabien Galthe and his staff have tested their method, exciting the applicants (79 players selected at least once, including 45 newcomers), and returning the France XV to the top of world rugby (in second place).H place, behind Ireland). The score before this last performance against XV du Leek was a record 27 victories against just 7 defeats (two against Australia, England and Scotland; one, a month earlier, against Ireland, 32-19).

The danger of overconfidence

there Show strength and talent, last week at Twickenham against England (53-10), struck a chord. These Blues are among the big favorites to win the world title, in six months at home. They are once again making their supporters dream, and now they are impatient on September 8 in their explosive opener at the Stade de France against the All Blacks. A strong expectation that pleases Fabian Galthi. “That’s what we wanted. Win matches, then win titles – singles now (2022 Grand Slam) -, And become an important global country again. This is what we did…»

To end this cycle of redemption, it is hoped that a new tight, successful and stunning run against the Welsh will be achieved. The coach wants it. Almost requires it. “The Twickenham game gave us a lot of satisfaction. But we can also see many points of improvement. This mediocre game makes us think we can play better. Concern for the Welshmen embroiled in crisis, between pay cuts and strike threats, a change of coach – to remind Warren Gatland, who orchestrated the Great Hours from 2007 to 2019 – and an aging squad. Gatland did not set high ambitions for this trip. “To be able to stay in the fight to the end. We owe it to ourselves…” New Zealand technician will be satisfied. It must be said that winning at the Stade de France is mission impossible. Since Fabien Galletti took over, France’s XV has only lost once at home. That was in March 2020 against Scotland (23-27).

Watch out for the dangers of overconfidence

Ironically, it is this rediscovered distinction that presents the greatest danger to the Blues who are now expected and admired. The coach and his staff must pay special attention to the risk of overconfidence, and the occurrence of blame release. The typical World Cup team is getting more and more formed, and some players may feel settled. “The word “stabilization” is interesting, and the word “rest” tooGalthié admits. In the chaos of matches, certainty can help. But, at the same time, in the next simulation and getting that T-shirt, you could create, that’s right, a kind of unconscious pause: “We’re going to do a little less.” Our 14-game winning streak may have lost a bit. We have to keep this fire burning. It’s a challenge, when you’re in a dominant position…»

With this in mind, he never fails to thank the Irish. With this year-and-a-half series ending, a month ago, Sexton and his partners put a saving slap on the Hab. Pride was disturbed. The feeling of invulnerability vanished. “Fortunately, we met the best team in the world. It brought us a lot. There is no irony in Galthier’s remark. Defeat in Dublin had the advantage of remobilizing forces. Invaluable in the prospect of being reunited with Ireland, perhaps as soon as the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The alert has been heard. The players promised to do the job perfectly to the end. “Don’t relax, and don’t fall into the trap of an easy match after a great performanceBack insisted Thomas Ramos.We won’t get carried awayOffensive coach Laurent Labette promised. Players and staff, we were not satisfied with our performance over the first three days. We were all wrong and we were keen to put in a great game at Twickenham. We stay focused to maintain our level.»



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