PARIS: Preparation has been the key word for France, which has seen a new head coach and a couple of consultants arrive among his staff before the Rugby World Cup.
Jacques Brunel replaced the fired Guy Noves in December 2017 and former Les Bleus captain Fabien Galthie, who replaces Brunel after the tournament, as well as former Racing 92 boss Laurent Labit have joined the organization.
Everyone seeks to continue the French record of reaching at least the quarterfinals of each edition of the tournament.
Standing between them and one last place in eighth place and potentially a fourth final appearance in nine editions are Argentina, England, United States and Tonga.
“In terms of results, we have a difficult group, our first challenge is to get out of it,” said Brunel. “History shows that France is able to go far.”
The impact of the advisors was preceded by the decision of Brunel, 65, of withdrawing the experienced couple of Morgan Parra and Mathieu Bastareaud in June from their original squad while seeking to implement a faster playing style.
After training camps in Monaco and Valencia around the increased fitness of the team, Brunel, along with Galthie and Labit, chose not to fire another veteran, 79 times international Louis Picamoles.
His exhibition in the final warm-up test, a victory over Italy was enough to reserve his ticket on the plane for a third World Cup, before retiring from the international scene.
“He answered the questions we asked most notably in the match against Italy,” said Brunel.
“He showed his quality and his ability during the big games,” he added.
- Club to country form –
Two others that were lost were Lock Felix Lambey and Dany Priso, the couple had been part of Brunel’s lineups and was part of their original squad named in early summer, unlike their replacements Charles Ollivon and Cyril Baille.
The duo only made their first appearances with Brunel during the warm-up tests against Scotland and the Azzurri in August.
“We took players who proposed good things during preparation,” said Brunel.
“It is without a doubt his (de Baille) performance during the matches that made the difference with our decisions,” Brunel added.
A consistency in their selection choices has been between the bottom line with Antoine Dupont, Yoann Huget and Damien Penad as pillars.
The trio was key when their teams, Toulouse and Clermont, reached the French national final dominant in June.
“What the new staff members have contributed has also been good, more detailed, more related to the structures. A game plan in which we can kick, we can play broadly or we can play quite directly,” he said. Huget end.
“If we respect all that, I think we can play well,” said the international 59 times.
Despite recent changes, both on and off the field, Les Bleus will seek to have these people transfer their club form to the international scene if they have any chance of maintaining their record as the only Six Nations team that has reached the quarterfinals. of end in each world-wide one.