XV of France: mid-term test for Fabien Galthié and the Blues against Argentina

the essential Stuck halfway between Fabien Galthié’s seizure of power and the opening match of the World Cup – 2023, the reception Saturday of Argentina, old cousin source of misery in the past, looks like a dress rehearsal for the XV of France.

No more revisions, erasures and drafts: after 14 matches, including six defeats, the Blues coach Fabien Galthié and his troops will pass a test, their first at home against a nation in the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina, after a tour in Australia promising if not completely convincing in terms of results (two defeats, one victory).

But this time, the “real” team of France returns: between an end of the Six Nations Tournament disturbed by the pandemic then a summer tour without most of the executives, Fabien Galthié had no longer aligned what is similar to a team -type for nearly nine months.

And if the coach welcomes the “emulation” of his group, he was especially able to take advantage of absences ( Virimi Vakatawa and Arthur Vincent injured, Teddy Thomas insufficiently recovered …) to change his game plan and make strong choices: the usual holder at the opening Romain Ntamack will slide in the center to give way to Matthieu Jalibert.

Start tour

“These two players, for two years, have been among the best in our championship. Let’s try to put the best players on the field, even if it is true that injuries have freed up options,” explained Galthié.

“There are always changes. Even if we have a concern for consistency, collective experience, vision, over the eighteen games played, there has been consistency,” he explained.

Thirty-year-olds Bernard Le Roux and Brice Dulin, rare players over 30 selections, have been returned to their clubs and the French staff has decided to count on sure values, such as the pillar Mohamed Haouas and winger Gabin Villière, barely recovered from injuries, as well as the new captain Antoine Dupont, the hooker Julien Marchand or the defense captain Gaël Fickou.

Australian summer hits Anthony Jelonch, Cameron Woki and Melvyn Jaminet gained ground, the Perpignan back even doubling Ntamack and Jalibert in the role of scorer.

The other novelty comes from Toulousain Thibaud Flament, second line with an atypical course, who will, him, honor his first cape.

The Pumas without certainties

He will find some well-known faces since the Pumas, who remain on six reverse ranks, will align eight “French” of the Top at kick-off, including Toulon Facunda Isa’s third row, French stadium Marcos Kremer and Perpignan center Jeronimo de la Fuente.

The last time the French and Argentines faced each other, the Blues had to wait for the last ten minutes, a drop from Camille Lopez (30 e) and a penalty failure of Emiliano Boffelli (80 e) to get out of the mouth of Pumas (21 – 18), opening of the World Cup 2019.

The XV of France, with Galthié in the role of “the assistant like the others”, had then chained a third success in a row against Argentina. Since the first test match of the 21st century, in June 2002, the Pumas have won ten of 14 oppositions.

The last French victory against the South Americans at the Stade de France dates back to 23 November 2019 and a narrow success (27 – 26 ) for the men of Bernard Laporte, then coach, and Raphaël Ibanez, then captain.

Almost two years after their last match with the public in the Lyon enclosure, Fabien Galthié’s Blues have an interest in taking up the challenge.

Back to top button