Two days before his last match of the Tournament, Saturday (3:45 p.m.) against Wales, Fabien Galthié, the coach of the Blues, revealed his team composition on Thursday to try - it will be complicated but mathematically not impossible - to win this 2023 edition.
“The week was very light.
We really adapted it to have as much freshness as possible.
Everything was done upstream on the development of the qualities of the players
,” explained Thibault Giroud, the performance director of the XV of France, on Wednesday.
Calendar and results 6 Nations
Ranking Tournament 6 of Nations
For this second match at the Stade de France (after the 32-21 victory against Scotland), the tricolor staff had to deal with the absence due to injury of Paul Willemse, affected in the hamstrings, who returned to his club of Montpelier.
To replace him in the starting XV, Romain Toafifenua (Lyon), usual “finisher”, was called.
The option of bringing up flanker Charles Ollivon (Toulon) was not retained, but could take place during the match.
The solid Bastien Chalureau (Montpellier), used this fall against South Africa, will start on the substitutes' bench.
Read alsoSix nations: Why Welsh rugby never stops sinking
The other change from the team that shone against England at Twickenham (10-53) concerns the position of right pillar.
His three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle against Ireland being served, Uini Atonio (La Rochelle) returns to the starting XV, he will honor his 50th selection in blue on Saturday.
The replacement for the position will once again be held by Sipili Falatea (UBB), who was preferred to Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), yet the holder and to his advantage last week.
“Restore the same intensity as at Twickenham”
For the rest, no changes.
The three-quarter line, brilliant against England, is renewed in its entirety, with in particular its usual hinge composed of captain Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.
On Saturday, rear Thomas Ramos, if he scores at least 13 points, could beat the record for points scored in the same edition (80 points), held by former Clermontois Gérald Merceron since the 2002 Grand Slam.
The third line, impressive against the XV de la Rose, also remains unchanged with Charles Ollivon, therefore, François Cros, back in the foreground, and Grégory Alldritt, who has regained his best level against the English.
Be careful, however, not to get carried away against the Welsh adrift this year.
“The main objective is to win this game.
We are all aware of what we have to do to possibly regain this first place for a few hours.
Or more, we hope ... The other objective is to restore the same intensity that we put at Twickenham
, ”insists Grégory Alldritt.
The composition of the XV of France:
Ramos – Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Dumortier – (o) Ntamack, (m) Dupont (cap) – Ollivon, Alldritt, Cros – Taofifenua, Flament – Atonio, Marchand, Baille.
Replacements: Mauvaka, Wardi, Falatea, Chalureau, Macalou, Moefana, Jaminet, Lucu.