Le XV de France féminin débute la Coupe du monde en Nouvelle-Zélande samedi face à l

Fifteenth for France, the title and nothing else

They have been working towards this meeting for five years. France’s XV women’s national team starts the World Cup on Saturday against South Africa (3:15am France time) with a clear ambition: to win the title. Les Bleues have fared no better than third place in the World Cup, and they are determined to make this edition, which is being held in New Zealand, theirs.

In the semi-finals in the first edition in 1991, Les Bleues never broke the glass ceiling for the bronze medal, obtained in six of the eight editions of the competition (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2017). Therefore, a big challenge awaits the 32 players selected for this World Cup (8 October – 12 November), which has been postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The French women’s team has never been world champions, and that motivates us every day. It’s been five years and we’re working hard to be“, sums up the experienced second row Safie Ndiaye (34 years, 86 caps).

The federation does not put many means so that we do not qualify in the end or get third placeAs for the player of Montpellier, who represents the World Cup for the third time, she confirms,We know it’s going to be tough (…) We’re not snobs, and we’re not going to get there as favouritesIndeed, although the course is more than honorable for a year — two convincing victories over reigning world champions New Zealand in the fall of 2021 and a Six Nations runner-up to England — the French women present themselves as an outsider.”Modest and hungryAccording to the slogan they printed on their shirts.

Classification race

To achieve their goals, they will need to be seeded well at the end of the final stages and have a quarter within their reach, which will require a good run in their Group C, where they will face England, on top. rankings and the big favourites, as well as South Africa and Fiji. it is necessary “To start this competition vigorously to build confidence and above all to take pointswarns Thomas Darracq, their trainer.

For the man who took over the team in place of Annick Herrod, who became manager, the first stage of the competition is akin to “Classification race for the quarter-finals“In which eight of the twelve teams will compete. Especially since the major countries are.”hard work“, in the words of the captain of the Bleues Gaëlle Hermet, and above all impressed: this is how the New Zealand “Black Ferns” (95-12) beat the Japanese in a warm-up match and the English “Red Roses” crushed (73-7) the Welsh before traveling to New Zealand.

When the French dominated, they slowly dominated Italy (21-0) before being defeated by the same Transalpine team (26-19). What gives a cold sweat to their supporters. In these two matches,We were not faithful to who we are, Alexandra Chambon confirmed the half-scrum to AFP. But it may be worth showing something else and taking revenge on ourselvesAppointment taken against South Africa, in the first match of the Blue on Saturday (03:15).

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