With two months to go before the opening of the Six Nations Championship, on February 2 in Marseille against Ireland, it was a week of return in Marcoussis (Essonne) for the leaders of Les Bleus. The newcomers to Fabien Galthié's staff were able to get to know each other and start working according to the axes mapped out by the coach.
Patrick Arlettaz (three-quarters) and Laurent Sempéré (conquest), who respectively replace Laurent Labit and Karim Ghezal, who left for Stade Français, joined William Servat (conquest), Shaun Edwards (defence), Vlok Cilliers (kicking game), Nicolas Jeanjean (performance) and listened to Fabien Galthié lay the foundations for his new mandate. This contact was also an opportunity to formalize the arrival of Alexis Savigny who will be the new doctor of the XV of France.
"With my nineteen seasons at Stade Français (until 2019, before moving to the PSG academy in 2022), I already knew Fabien and Laurent (Sempéré). The medical staff is a set of components on several levels with physiotherapists, nutritionists and psychologists. I will be responsible for all of that. »
"Fabien gives us a lot of autonomy"
On Monday and Tuesday, the assistants were able to make their voices heard on the French U20s by conducting training sessions. Then the staff met in seminars the following days. "Above all, we talked about the heritage and identity of the team," explains Laurent Sempéré, former head of forwards at Stade Français. We shared our emotions, we synchronized. »
We won't know more about the objectives set, Fabien Galthié being the only one authorized to unveil his battle plan. Nor will we know exactly the contours of Laurent Sempéré's position, whose profile is not far removed from that of William Servat, who was also in charge of the conquest. "We tried to connect," said the former Stade Français hooker. I connected, whether it was with William, but also with Patrick (Arlettaz) in attack, Shaun (Edwards) in defence or Vlok (Cilliers) in the kicking game. It's been very rewarding. »
The only small indiscretion is that the coaching staff has already started discussing the players with a view to the selection committee which will meet in mid-January to discuss the first match of the Six Nations. "We will have another seminar of the same type at the beginning of January," adds Sempéré. Fabien gives us a lot of autonomy. He is then there to make decisions and decisions. Just like the last four years.