INTERVIEW. XV of France – autumn tour: tenure linked “to the form of the moment”, justifies Fabien Galthié

the essential The changes made for the match against Georgia, Sunday in Bordeaux, are not linked “to the management” of the group but to “the form of the moment” and “the competence “of the players, assured the coach of the XV of France Fabien Galthié Friday November.

The Atonio surprise

In view of the training, the Lyonnais Demba Bamba (23 years, 18 selections) seemed in pole position to replace the titular right pillar Mohamed Haouas, that the management wanted to breathe. But it is ultimately the Rochelais Uini Atonio (31 years, 37 sel.), More experienced, who was chosen to start against Lelos. “With La Rochelle, he has been an indisputable holder for a few seasons. He greatly participates in the performance of his team and in particular of his pack of forwards,” said Galthié. Muscularly injured, the day before the first meeting, this super heavyweight (1, 96 m, 145 kg) has since replayed with his club and convinced the staff. Galthié insisted on his resilience, recalling that he had to give up the World Cup in Japan following a cervical operation.

Premiere for Lebel

The great Toulouse hope was not far from making his international debut against the Argentines but the staff had preferred Gabin Villière to him, just back from injury. This time, the hour of the first cape struck for the swift winger Matthis Lebel, second best scorer of tests last season in Top 13 ((13 achievements). “Gabin was the author of a high quality performance (against the Pumas). He could not participate in Tuesday’s session because he needed to recover. But beware: Matthis has won the right to put the jersey, ”explained Galthié.

Woki tested in second line

Bordeaux’s Cameron Woki will not be flanker, his favorite position, Saturday but second row, a position he knows little about, even if he helped out in this sector at the end of the match against the Pumas. Risky bet against the pack of Georgian forwards known for its hardness? “There are dangers at the international level (…) but we have to take risks,” replied Galthié, praising the versatility of the young player (18 years, 9 sel.) trained in Massy, ​​in the Paris region, already “leader of touch” with the Blues. “He has a hybrid profile that can allow him to play N.4, due to his density and his physique,” said the coach.

The Jalibert-Ntamack tandem renewed

The association between the Toulousain, replaced in the center, and the Bordelais, holder at the opening, was not conclusive, in particular for Ntamack, released before the hour mark against the Pumas. But the staff do not change a “combination” that they want to see again. “These are players who have lived with us (…) They are part of our history,” said Galthié. “Romain knows that he has to improve in his game and in his communication with Matthieu (…) It is not two players who will transform the organization but it is a whole that must live with a slightly different organization “, qualified the coach.

A thought for the sidelined players

Galthié welcomed the application to the training of the players not selected for the match in Bordeaux, in particular the 13 returned to their club in view of the agreement between the Federation (FFR) and the League (LNR). “These players know very well that if there is an injury, they come back and they play,” said the manager. He cited the names of second row Kilian Geraci, rear Brice Dulin, third row Ibrahim Diallo, Dylan Cretin and Alexandre Bécognée, in an effort to maintain emulation. “If a player starts, it is not in the name of management (…) but it is linked to the form of the moment and his competence”, he insisted.

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