“You are back in Montgesty, where the adventure of this staff and this generation of players began three and a half years ago. What is your assessment of your journey so far?
It’s a lot of pride and satisfaction because a lot of things we had planned and imagined have come to fruition. In a career as a manager, when you draw up a methodology with milestones and objectives to achieve and everything succeeds, you tell yourself that everyone has done a good job. The staff and the players have accepted this way of working and have fulfilled almost all the objectives.
So the satisfaction is to be here three and a half years later and to be in tune with what we had said. That is to say to be able to look our rivals eye to eye as soon as the World Cup opens on September 8, and not to use the two or three months of preparation to try to make up for lost time.
Will you still have the will to develop your game during the two months of preparation?
We can still do better, yes. This will be the challenge of our high-precision preparation. When we see what our players are capable of doing in the Tournament or on tour after fifteen days of preparation, we say to ourselves that with two months ahead of us, they will be able to do better than what they have done so far. But we are aware that it will be the same for our opponents.
“All the players must be well aware that anything can happen until the last moment”
Do you understand when it will be necessary to choose the players for this preparation and then for the World Cup?
Of course. We know that the 42 players will be difficult to choose on June 21 (first list for World Cup preparation) et that the 33 for the World Cup will be even more so on August 21. All players must be well aware that anything can happen until the last moment. A player who has not done the preparation can very well integrate the group at the end by taking advantage of favorable circumstances. All players who have already come to Marcoussis since the beginning of the adventure are potentially selectable. We do not forbid ourselves anything.
Why did you decide to cancel the first internship at the end of June in Carpiagne (Bouches-du-Rhône)?
Because it took a little rest from the players. We consider that they will need regeneration more than cohesion after the semi-finals and the Top 14 final. They got it. »