The entire staff of the XV of France held a press conference on Tuesday to unveil its preparation plan for the 2023 World Cup, also taking stock of the injured and the competition in certain positions.
The staff of the XV of France met for two days in Montgesty (Lot) to prepare for the Rugby World Cup in France (from September 8 to October 28). He had given an appointment to the press in its entirety this Tuesday to detail this approach with three months of preparation. Fabien Galthié, coach, and Raphaël Ibanez, manager, have indicated that they will unveil a first list of 42 on June 21. Three training courses will be planned in Monaco, Marcoussis and Cape Breton while the Blues will play four friendly matches: two against Scotland, then against Fiji and Australia, during the month of August. They also gave an update on some injured players like Anthony Jelonch and the competition in certain positions.
23 players called to Marcoussis before a first list of 42 players on June 21
“We consider everyone, recalled Fabien Galthié. You are certainly thinking of injured players or others who are on their way back. There are still matches to be played, two European Cup finals and a championship day, then a half and a final. What is certain is that the first list of 42 named players will be on June 21. But before that – the Sunday following the play-offs (June 4, editor’s note) – we will select a group of 23 players who will come to Marcoussis the first week of June to live a week of preparation with the under 20. These are players who potentially must have the ambition to enter the locker room of the 42. (…) The first list that we will announce will be the day after the second play-off (June 5) with 23 players who will come to spend four days of preparation. This will be the first working time before Monaco. This first list is very important. From Tuesday, we start our cycle again Every Tuesday, we go back to a macro view of around 100 players that we place in rankings from 1 to 7 per position and these players will be informed that they are potentially able to participate in the World Cup. Preparing for a World Cup is long. There may be withdrawals, injuries, withdrawals. Until the last match, I invite the elite of French rugby to be ready to step into the goal of the France team.”
“We have built this program with great precision. We are going to be very attentive to the time spent together and in the field. We are vigilant about everything. In the balance of this preparation, it is potentially 17 weeks of living together at 4 months, for 42 then 33 players. There will be changes, linked to injuries.”
Meafou, not selectable before the World Cup?
“There is a procedure launched with World Rugby, recalls Galthié. The file is studied and we were promised an answer by mid-June to find out if we were going to be able to capture Emmanuel Meafou (24 years old, Australian second line from Toulouse) and make him selectable for preparation. The file has been put together, discussions with World Rugby have been made. We are awaiting a clear response from World Rugby and it will be for November 2023.”
Jelonch ahead in his recovery
“He weighs 106 kg, smiles the coach. He came to my house last week and he said to me: ‘I am 106 as usual’, even if I found him stronger than usual. He follows an appropriate rehabilitation program, everything is going very well. As they are exceptional players, they have an exceptional capacity for recovery, they are already ahead. The surgeon does not understand what is happening with Anthony Jelonch. But his case is one among many others. There are many players who are injured that we will follow. It is a good example but I would not like to isolate it because there are other injured players, perhaps less spectacularly, and we support them all.”
On the high number of preparation matches
“It was chosen well in advance with Bernard Laporte, our president (who resigned from his post last January). We had anticipated from the start of the mandate a vision on the preparation for the World Cup. We very quickly tried to fill the month of August with preparation matches. They make it possible to set up a team which will face Scotland at home, Scotland at home. This will be the opportunity to play in Nantes and Saint-Etienne, territories We haven’t been to. There will be Fiji and Australia, two southern nations that have a different kind of rugby. We mixed with Scotland twice, it was a deal with them. is what seemed the most consistent to us, the mix is perfect. This is an opportunity to test this preparation in World Cup mode. We have to find the right balance so that we are ready for the first match against the Allies. Blacks.”
He counts on Ramos and Jaminet at the back
“Thomas Ramos performed very well with us. But we need a team and a group, you can’t talk about a player when you talk about the France team. We need Thomas Ramos of course, and Melvyn Jaminet of course. Today, Melvyn is injured and is recovering. He will do everything to be available, he is one of the many players we follow.”
Ireland, the best team in the world
“They are number one in the world, recalls Galthié, so they are the best team in the world at the moment. We fell in Dublin, we analyzed this experience well and we used it to continue against Scotland, England and Wales. They have dominated world rugby for a year even though we tasted first place for a week.”