the essential It is the great return of the “real” XV of France, with a new captain, Antoine Dupont, and this Jalibert-Ntamack duo which makes everyone wriggle.
We imagine that Fabien Galthié did a lot of synthesis from that. But at the Stade de France, he will present a selection in due form. It will have a new captain, Antoine Dupont, dedicated to the place of Charles Ollivon, victim of a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of a knee in June. A new stage which falls perfectly into the ascent of the Toulouse scrum-half to heights that it is increasingly difficult to imagine.
Rather rare “five eighth”
But the big business of this autumnal XV of France will be this Matthieu Jalibert-Romain Ntamack association: two hyper gifted opening halfs lined up at the same time, with the Toulousain provided with the number 12 . It is a rather rare option in the history of the XV of France to use a “five eighth”, the nickname of the second opener placed in the first center position. But the talents of Bordeaux and Toulouse are so brilliant that Fabien Galthié and Laurent Labit have not resisted the temptation to make a cocktail of it. The success (or not) of this association will be examined with a magnifying glass. The two boys are aware of it, but the pressure has been part of their daily life for so long…
The starting XV will conceal another innovation, the beginnings of Thibaud Flament, Toulouse’s second line with an atypical course. There has also been a lot of talk about the selection of Anthony Jelonch as the third center line, which excludes Gregory Alldritt from the sheet, an event that would have been deemed improbable six months ago.
The misleading statistics of Pumas
All these experiments are supposed to be done to the detriment of Argentina, a selection of which it is always difficult to locate the level. The Pumas have lost all six of the Southern Hemisphere Tournament games. But their stats are often misleading, it’s not easy to face the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies so often. When we know the individual value of some top exiles 14 (Guido Petti, Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa), and the cunning of their trainer Mario Ledesma, a perfect French speaker, we say to ourselves that the Argentines have not finished covering the tracks of the Blues de France, especially when they make exciting bets.