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Rugby: where to see Japan-France and five questions about the first test match of the Blues

2022-06-30T15:27:51.257Z

The XV of France challenges this Saturday morning (8:00 am) the Japanese, on the occasion of the first match of its summer tour.



Where to see the first test match of the Blues?

After long hesitation to know if the tour of the XV of France was going to be broadcast, it was finally TF1 which acquired the rights to the double confrontation between the Japanese and the Blues.

A meeting commented by François Trillo and Benjamin Kayser.

Early kick-off, scheduled for 8 a.m.

A meeting which will also be followed live with commentary on

Le Figaro Sport

.

Tanga and Jolmès, two novices thrown into the deep end

For this summer tour, Fabien Galthié and his staff had to compose without the Top 14 finalists (Montpelliérains and Castrais), as well as without certain executives left to rest (Dupont, Ntamack, Jelonch, Alldritt).

Two players will make their international debut this Saturday: the second line of the UBB, Thomas Jolmès, and the future number 8 of the Stade Rochelais, Yoan Tanga (ex-Racing 92).

Read alsoXV of France: the Blues with Jalibert at the opening and a pair Moefana-Vakatawa in the center against Japan

“Thomas Jolmes is in good shape, he had a good season with Bordeaux,

recalled Galthié.

It seems to us, given the first two weeks of work, that he is very relevant in his actions, in his game, in his role.

He's comfortable too."

And to add on Tanga:

“Yoan had been very efficient during the week before facing England with the British Barbarians, he did 80 minutes of very high level in the position of number 8 when we were for more than a half-time at 14… He has already experienced a somewhat special “first selection”, he deserves to continue his momentum.

Where is Japan really?

This is the great unknown of this tour.

Since the last World Cup organized on its land, Japan has only played eight matches because of the health crisis.

At the same time, France played... 25!

“The first year

(in 2020)

we didn't play, and last year we only played a few matches.

And so we are clearly behind in terms of development

”, recently explained the Japanese coach, New Zealander Jamie Joseph, who is deprived of executives (Horie, Saito and Noguchi) due to the Covid.

Read alsoTest-match: Japan without Horie but with Leitch against the Blues

Of the eight matches they have played, the Japanese have only won three, against modest teams, Portugal (38-25) then Uruguay twice (34-15 and 43-7).

In the fall, the Cherry Blossoms, tenth in the world rankings, were crushed by the Irish (60-5).

Will they be able to bounce back?

Only four confrontations in history

France has never faced Japan on its land.

The two teams have met four times.

The first time in 1973 at Parc Lescure (now Stade Chaban-Delmas) in Bordeaux, for a 30-18 success for the Tricolores who had scored six tries by Gilles Delaigue, Max Barrau, Olivier Saisset, Jean-Michel Aguirre, Jean-Claude Skrela and Roland Bertranne.

Subsequently, the French and the Japanese faced each other twice in the World Cup, for two French victories: 51-29 in 2003 and 47-21 in 2011. In the fourth match to date, in 2017, the Japanese managed to snatch the draw (23-23) at Paris La Défense Arena against the ghostly Blues.

A historic underperformance which precipitated the dismissal of Guy Novès, who had been in office for a year and a half.

Expected return of Captain Ollivon

A tour to revive.

Charles Ollivon has had a complicated year.

Blame it on a cruciate ligament rupture in Castres on the last day of the 2020-2021 season.

He did not return to the field until March 12 during a defeat of RC Toulon on the lawn of Montpellier (18-16).

The flanker has only made 11 appearances this season.

He therefore did not participate in the Grand Slam carried out by the Blues during the Six Nations Tournament, for the first time since 2010. In his absence, Antoine Dupont took over as interim head of the XV of France.

An interim that could turn into a permanent contract?

Two years ago, Ollivon was essential in his role as captain.

It remains to be seen whether things will change... Before flying to Japan, Karim Ghezal, the assistant coach in charge of the touchline, had been very clear:

"We are very happy with the return of Charles, who is always full of desire and qualities.

He is in great shape and his appointment was not debated, because in addition to being someone very humble and very simple, his performance on the ground speaks for him.

A historical record in sight

If successful this Saturday against Japan, the XV of France of Fabien Galthié will go down in history by becoming the first to sign nine victories in a row.

The last loss of the Blues dates back to July 17, 2021 during the third and last test match against the Australians (30-33).

Since then, the Tricolores have not lost, notably signing a prestigious success against the All Blacks and achieving the Grand Slam in the Tournament.

In the past, the Blues had succeeded three times in achieving such a series of eight straight wins.

It was each time under the orders of Bernard Laporte as coach: in 1998, 2002 and 2004. Note that at the time Fabien Galthié was a player for the XV of France.

But this Saturday, he can definitely enter the legend of French rugby.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-06-30

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