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XV of France: the Tournament of all dangers

2023-02-03T17:13:05.063Z


The Blues, crowned with their Grand Slam in 2022, start in Italy on Sunday with the World Cup in mind.


This Six Nations Tournament, which the Blues start on Sunday (4 p.m., France 2) in Rome, is not like the others.

It carries with it so many promises, so many dangers, that it will be scrutinized more than a new edition of this venerable competition.

Throughout this month and a half of confrontations, the World Cup will indeed be on everyone's mind.

In seven months, its kick-off will be given at the Stade de France with an explosive and terrible France-New Zealand.

At home, Antoine Dupont and his partners are expected, carrying on their broad shoulders the hopes of millions of supporters dreaming of a first planetary coronation.

At last.

To discover

  • Calendar and results 6 Nations

  • Ranking Tournament 6 of Nations

Their recent performances have already given them the costume of big favorites for the world meeting.

So think.

A Grand Slam, desperately awaited for twenty years, in the Tournament last year.

A series, in progress, of thirteen victories in a row, unprecedented in the history of the XV of France, with the scalps of England and Ireland, the All Blacks and the South African world champions, among others .

In short, the best today.

For a huge target on the back.

From hunters, the Blues have become hunted.

“Predators”

, adds Fabien Galthié.

That this new status does not make you tremble.

“When we took the France team three years ago, we defined the objectives: to win, quickly, matches, competitions, and to become a major rugby nation again.

That's where we are today, and that's what we wanted.

Every time the France team gets off the bus to go to the stadium, that's how they want to present themselves.

For this Six Nations Tournament, we will therefore try to repeat what we managed to do last year…”

The World Cup already on everyone's mind

Winning the Grand Slam for the second year in a row, therefore.

A rare performance, achieved only twice in the modern era, by England (in 1991 and 1992) and France (in 1997 and 1998).

And never since the transition to six nations in the year 2000. This shows the magnitude of the challenge.

Which, if achieved, would place the Blues, on the evening of March 18 in France-Wales, in first place in the world and allow them to equalize the greatest series of victories in a row - 18 - in history while short, a record jointly held by the All Blacks and the XV de la Rose.

If we dared, we would boast that so many laurels at the dawn of a World Cup, it is not necessarily reassuring.

It's not French, to be honest.

Just a slap behind the head to keep your feet on the ground, vigilant and modest,

Everyone is fully focused on this Tournament.

With the rage to still want to succeed this magnificent Grand Slam

Anthony Jelonch, player of the XV of France

A weighting which, logically, exasperates these Blues, now fierce competitors.

They don't want to let anything go.

On the contrary.

“We want to relive the same emotions

, says Anthony Jelonch.

Everyone is fully focused on this Tournament.

With the rage of still wanting to succeed in this magnificent Grand Slam.”

Which would be phenomenal as the Irish, current first nation in the world, the English and all the others are burning to be the first to bring down these annoying obstacles to winning in circles between Anglo-Saxons.

Which promises two dives into hell, in Dublin and Twickenham, during this edition…

The World Cup is already on everyone's mind.

More so in those who aspire to take part in it.

The last places in the list of 33 elected for France 2023 will be expensive to win.

And this Tournament represents the last opportunity to shake up the hierarchy.

Give everything to seduce Galthié and his staff.

But do not lose everything by seriously injuring yourself.

Gabin Villière, who has been going from relapse to relapse since the end of the 2022 Tournament, can talk about it, last minute package for this edition (fibula fracture during high intensity training).

“Injury is part of an athlete's life.

At each major competition, we see friends passing it in the stands, and it's hard to live

, confides Antoine Dupont to the

Figaro.

Unfortunately, we cannot anticipate them.

We can just do what we can, during our preparation, in prevention to try to reduce the probability.

But there is always an element of luck which means that… Apart from committing 100% to the field, there is not much to do.

Read alsoBefore the start of the Six Nations Tournament, the XV of France impresses its rivals

If the captain of the Blues wants to be fatalistic, his coach is more worried.

He knows that these last few months will be endless and that the bad news lurks.

So Fabien Galthié ensures that he follows the state of form of his troupe very closely.

“We listen to them, we ask them how they feel.

They know their bodies better than anyone."

Will they dare, in case of overheating, to ask the coach to be exempted from a round of this Tournament like no other?

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-02-03

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