A return to school as he likes them.
With a crowded class.
Forty-two Blues will meet in Marcoussis (Essonne), in their fortress cut off from the world, Monday, October 25, under the rule of Fabien Galthié, the coach and his plethora of staff, in order to prepare for the Autumn Tour.
They will be much less numerous, obviously, on the lawn, on November 6 at the Stade de France against Argentina, on the 14 in Bordeaux against Georgia and on the 20 in Saint-Denis in front of the famous All Blacks.
Even if he already knows more or less the 23 lucky winners, Galthié promises them something solid and severe. "We will increase in intensity in training," said the coach just after appointing his men on Monday, as if the past two years had been nothing but sweet appetizers. Overview of a troop getting ready to sweat.
The return of the bosses.
Spared or occupied by the finals of the Top 14 at the end of last season, many usual holders who had not participated in the Tour in Australia last summer are coming back in force.
This is the case of Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, François Cros, Grégory Alldritt, Matthieu Jalibert, Damian Penaud, Gabin Villière, Brice Dulin, Gaël Fickou, Bernard Le Roux and Virimi Vakatawa.
Galthié, of course, relies particularly on them.
A host of packages and a captain to find.
The staff of the Blues had to deal with a host of absences. Montpellier center Arthur Vincent (cruciate ligaments), Toulon scrum half Baptiste Serin (shoulder), Racing 92 second row Baptiste Pesenti (shoulder), Lyon center Pierre-Louis Barassi (ankle), winger of Racing 92 Teddy Thomas (thigh) or the pillar of Montpellier Mohamed Haouas (muscle injury) are out of service… An infirmary which also features the usual captain Charles Ollivon, victim of a rupture of an anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee. To replace him, five names stand out: the Toulousains Antoine Dupont, Anthony Jelonch and Julien Marchand, the Racingman Gaël Fickou or the Rochelais Grégory Alldritt. The new boss of the Blues will be unveiled at the end of the week. "Performance, generosity, humility,loyalty will be essential criteria in the choice of captain ”, assures the manager of the Blues Raphaël Ibanez.
Nine new ones to make up the number.
The list includes nine uncapped players: Bordeaux Thierry Paiva, Romain Buros and Maxime Lucu, Toulouse Matthis Lebel and Thibaud Flament, Racingman Donovan Taofifenua, Clermontois Tani Vili as well as Castresian Florent Vanverberghe and Montpellier Florian Verhaeghe. “Flament and Verhaeghe are real neophytes who have never spent time with us,” emphasizes Galthié. They also have a profile that interests us, especially their skills on the sidelines. "
Four big losers.
Anthony Bouthier (Montpellier), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Louis Carbonel (Toulon) and Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle) will not be in the game. "The absent are part of the group, we called them", explains Galthié. “All these players have their place. They are all part of "blue culture", whatever their status at the moment, "adds Ibanez.
The forty-two. Forwards:
Grégory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Cyril Baille (Stade toulousain), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Gaëtan Barlot (Castres), Dylan Cretin (Lyon), François Cros (Stade toulousain), Ibrahim Diallo (Racing 92), Thibaud Flament (Stade toulousain), Killian Geraci (Lyon), Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon), Wilfrid Hounkpatin (Castres), Anthony Jelonch (Stade toulousain), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Sekou Macalou ( Stade Français), Julien Marchand (Stade toulousain), Peato Mauvaka (Stade toulousain), Thierry Paiva (Bordeaux-Bègles), Romain Taofifenua (Lyon), Florent Vanverberghe (Castres), Florian Verhaeghe (Montpellier), Paul Willemse (Montpellier), Cameron Woki (Bordeaux-Bègles).
Romain Buros (Bordeaux-Bègles), Baptiste Couilloud (Lyon), Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle), Brice Dulin (La Rochelle), Antoine Dupont (Stade toulousain), Gaël Fickou (Racing 92), Antoine Hastoy (Pau), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Bègles), Melvyn Jaminet (Perpignan), Matthis Lebel (Stade toulousain), Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Bègles), Yoram Moefana (Bordeaux-Bègles), Romain Ntamack (Stade toulousain), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Thomas Ramos (Stade Toulouse), Donovan Taofifenua (Racing 92), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Tani Vili (Clermont), Gabin Villière (Toulon).