At the conclusion of their autumn tour, the French meet the Japanese, this Sunday afternoon in Toulouse. Fabien Galthié’s men, if they remain serious, will obtain their thirteenth success in a row and thus stretch a record series.
VMentally losing Australia (30-29) in Saint-Denis and South Africa (30-26) in Marseille, the XV of France will have to guard against a natural relaxation against Japan during their third and last autumn test, Sunday (2 p.m.) in Toulouse.
Of all the statistics from which the national management draws so as not to leave anything to chance in its preparation, the intensity of the match won against the Springboks, last Saturday at the Vélodrome, was by far the most obvious to perceive. “The combat data is two to three times above average. It hit hard”popularizes Thibault Giroud, director of performance.
How to go back to the front with the same level of physical commitment and the same desire after having successfully climbed the announced summit of the fall series against the reigning world champions? The “Braves Blossoms”, 10th in the World Rugby rankings, do not have the luster of the two previous visitors, but the motivation levers are not lacking: extend the record series of consecutive victories (12), end the year 2022 undefeated, to please the Haut-Garonne public… “That was the watchword of the week. There remains this last match to finish the tour properlyconfirms full-back Thomas Ramos. Losing would call into question what we did the previous two weekends. Disrespecting this team (from Japan), that would be putting a spoke in the wheels. »
“Confronting the nations of the South successively leaves traces” Fabien Galthie
Even if they had then made the trip without most of their executives, after a grueling season, the Blues have not forgotten that they had to work twice to overcome (42-23 and 20-15) of a very playful Japanese formation, in July. With circumstantial caution, they also prefer to keep in mind Japan’s honorable defeat against New Zealand (31-38) at the end of October, rather than the spanking received in England (52-13) last week. “It does not reflect the real level of this team. We expect a reaction from them and we know what they are capable of.further warns Ramos.
Victorious since the summer of 2021, winner of all the great nations, this France full of character, favorite of “its” World Cup next year, should not have much to fear from its rival if it evolves at its level. But, as his manager Raphaël Ibañez reminded us, “the battle of Marseille left its mark” and that of Toulouse will be delivered without three important soldiers: the pillar Cyril Baille and the second line Thibaud Flament, injured, as well as the scrum half and captain Antoine Dupont, suspended.
Coach Fabien Galthié has decided to field his best team possible, on behalf of the famous “collective experience”. “Confronting the nations of the South successively leaves traceshe explains. We must prepare for such a sequence to get a feel for what awaits us in less than a year. »
THE STRENGTHS IN PRESENCE
SUNDAY 20 NOVEMBER, 2 P.M., STADIUM IN TOULOUSE
: Ramos – Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Moefana – (o) Ntamack, (m) Lucu – Ollivon (cap.), Alldritt, Jelonch – Taofifenua, Woki – Atonio, Marchand, Wardi.
Replacements: Mauvaka, Priso, Falatea, Verhaeghe, Chalureau, Macalou, Couilloud, Jalibert.
: Yamanaka – Riley, Nakano, Nakamura, Fifita – (o) Lee, (m) Saito – Labuschagne, Himeno, Leitch – Cornelsen, Dearns – Gu, Sakate (cap.), Inagaki.
Replacements: Horikoshi, Millar, Takeuchi, Van der Walt, Tatafu, Nagare, Nakao, Matsushima.
: Mr. Brace (Irl)
The other meetings
Tonga – Uruguay 43-19
Italy – South Africa 21-63
Wales – Georgia 12-13
Canada – Namibia 37-43
French Barbarians – Fiji 14-46
Romania – Samoa 0-22
Scotland – Argentina 52-29
England – New Zealand 25-25
Ireland – Australia 13-10
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