We take the same and start again?
More than seven months after the last game of the Blues, coach Fabien Galthié will announce his first list, that of 23 to face Wales, without big surprises.
They are 31 but, Thursday, at the end of the morning, they will be only 23. Fifteen holders and eight substitutes: 230 days after the defeat in Scotland (28-17), the XV of France which will be aligned at the Stade de France on Saturday should be rather familiar with a 100% Toulouse hinge formed by Antoine Dupont (23 years old, 24 caps) and Romain Ntamack (21 years old, 16 caps), captain Charles Ollivon (27 years old, 15 caps) in third row, the Montpellier and revelation of the last Tournament Anthony Bouthier (28 years old, 4 selections) at the back, or even the inexhaustible Bernard Le Roux (31 years old, 41 selections), fresh finalist of the European Cup with Racing 92 in the second row .
Thus, except last minute surprise, the XV which will start against the Welsh will therefore resemble the one who launched the Galthié era with a victory against England (24-17) on February 2.
Injured against Italy, Vincent Rattez (28 years old, 5 caps), now in Montpellier, will therefore find his place in the wing, just like Racingman Teddy Thomas (27 years old, 19 caps), who was not in Scotland .
- Thomas and Rattez back -
Center and defense captain Gaël Fickou (26 years old, 55 caps), who had repaired on the wing, finds the flocked jersey of number 12 and sits next to Racing 92 player Virimi Vakatawa (28 years old, 24 selections), sending the former captain of the U20 world champions Arthur Vincent (21 years old, 4 caps) on the bench.
Among the replacements, the MHR player should find the forwards Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba and Romain Taofifenua as well as the backs Baptiste Serin and Thomas Ramos.
For the rest, as he claims since taking office, Fabien Galthié has therefore continued by relying on a hard core and by making changes according to the injuries or misforms of the moment.
During the last Tournament, the coach of the Blues repeated wanting to "build a team, + cap + the players, make them improve their skills".
"The selections are worth gold", he proclaimed then.
Galthié will however be forced to make choices because of the agreement between the LNR and the FFR which limits the internationals to three sheets of matches out of the six on the program for a busy fall.
But it will be later.
The rookies on the first list, George-Henri Colombe (22), Killian Geraci (21), Baptiste Pesenti (23), Selevasio Tolofua (23) or Gabin Villière (24), will have plenty of time to discover the blue jersey.
XV of France likely against Wales: Baille, Marchand, Haouas - Le Roux, Willemse - Cros, Alldritt, Ollivon (cap) - Dupont, Ntamack - Rattez, Fickou, Vakatawa, Thomas - Bouthier
Replacements: Gros, Chat, Taofifenua, Bamba, Serin, Ramos, Cretin, Vincent
© 2020 AFP