XV from France.  For the Blues up to the World Cup, there’s a bit of a ‘do or die’

XV from France. For the Blues up to the World Cup, there’s a bit of a ‘do or die’

For the Blues, who will play the final stages of the Championship and those of the European Cup, there will likely be 22 (1) matches left to play by the end of the season. What condition will they be in when they appear at World Cup kick-off on September 8 against the All Blacks?

Walking in mined terrain

Last July, the National League and the French Federation published a nice joint statement that affirmed that their priority is “to put France in the best conditions to win the 2023 World Cup.” The problem is that, behind statements of intent, the authorities have chosen to allow clubs to manage this particular season without putting up barriers, by betting on a kind of “gentlemen’s agreement” between Fabian Galletti, his staff and managers. .

Does this work? We act as if. This informal agreement is sometimes like a stroll in a minefield, with bursts of gunfire, and occasional feuds behind the scenes for an international not released on a weekend of doubles for example.

Roman Ntamak has reached his peak in 32 games (2380 minutes) ten times more than Ardi Savea, the most sought-after All Blacks.

“The clubs have the intelligence and the philanthropy to try to help us as much as possible by protecting international players, I am thinking in particular of Toulouse, but there is their reality,” explained Thibaut Giroud, Quinze de France’s performance director. …before the November tour. “They need to win games. This 14th position is so homogeneous, so tight that it’s also normal for managers to field their best players. On our part, we do our best to keep the internationals in trouble, but we also have our imperatives.”

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In the midst of this ludicrously ridiculous situation, the players keep silent. But their service record tells. Uini Atonio has already packed 15 weekends post-season 2020-2021 with 33 appearances, and Grégory Alldritt had 30 appearances (2,180 minutes) last July, as did Antoine Dupont. Romain Ntamack, peaked at 32 games (2,380 minutes) ten more than Ardie Savea, the All Blacks’ most sought-after captain with Sam Whitelock. If we refer to it, it is because the New Zealand model has always been reliable in terms of player management.

There is no rest period

It is often the injury that allows French players to regenerate. Before injuring his shoulder against Perpignan, Union Bordeaux Beagle’s young center Yoram Movana restricted twelve spells to one weekend of “break” at the end of October. False cut since he was involved in high-intensity training for the France XV.

With a central contract system, the South African, Irish and New Zealand federations control their players’ seasons in the interests of the national team. This winter, for example, the Springboks will have a nine-week break to rest and then prepare for their title defense.

But for the blues, there will be no relief. They will begin preparation on June 25, a week after the Top 14 Final, with a training period in Guyana with the Corps. That’s fine, their program until the World Cup, it’s either do or die.

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