Europe 1 with AFP 10:13 p.m., February 06, 2023

And now for Ireland!

The XV of France, sluggish on Sunday against Italy at the opening of the Six Nations Tournament, has only six days left to correct the situation and prepare for an XXL shock, resembling the final, in Dublin.

Fabien Galthié's men expect a fight of titans and intend to take up the challenge.

If he still had a doubt, Fabien Galthié is now warned: Ireland, world number 1, will be the opponent to beat for the Blues in search of a second Grand Slam in a row a few months before the World Cup at home.

"What is interesting, when you play on Sunday in the Tournament, is that you have a good Saturday: you have two great rugby matches to watch and we had a great time", smiled the French coach, after the laborious victory of Rome (29-24).

No need for the staff of the Blues to have been particularly attentive in front of their television set, in their hotel overlooking the Tiber: in Cardiff, the Irish played against the amorphous Welsh, swallowed up in half time (34-10 ).

Impressive mastery, the XV of Clover split a demonstration, air-conditioning the Millennium in twenty minutes and three tries.


- Six Nations Tournament: the player, the number, the statement, what to remember from the Italy-France match

Too many penalties

A performance at odds with that of the Blues in Italy: the eighteen penalties conceded sent a negative signal before the trip to Dublin, as much as the rough copy returned to Rome.

"If we don't rectify our level of play, we will take fifteen, twenty or even thirty points in Ireland", rightly railed French defense coach Shaun Edwards.

Same story on the side of the players.

"The world number 1, at home, just to say it, that sets the context. It's a team that is very much in place, sure of its strengths, which has been performing for many months. They attacked this Tournament in a more than mastered", launched Antoine Dupont.


- Rugby: why the XV of France refuses to turn its back on Bernard Laporte

"Clearly favorites"

“We know where we are stepping, we know how we will be received. The last time we were there, we won (15-13 in 2021). We will have to increase our level of play in all sectors. is one of the big matches that we want to play in any case," added the captain of the Blues.

They will also have two “off” days, Monday and Tuesday, before getting back to work.

With six new partners summoned, against fourteen usually.

Enough to counter the Irish armada, led by the indestructible Johnny Sexton or the best player in the world Josh van der Flier?

"We have no choice!" Admitted with a smile the third line of the French Stade Sekou Macalou.

"There is a lot of excitement but also a bit of fear: Ireland are the first nation in the world, they play very, very good rugby, it's going to be a very big game. They are clearly favourites", he still considered.

His sidekick in the second line Thibaud Flament does not say anything else, ensuring that the Blues are "under pressure".

"We really have to get back on the right track. We have to correct everything that has sinned, we are not calm. Ireland, they play fast, they play clean...", assured the Toulouse.

"In the Tournament, there are other matches. All the matches are high. It is sure that the poster is beautiful but it is not a final before the hour", he continued.