“I’m not worried about Ntamack,” said Giroud

Thibaut Giroux, director of the XV play of France. AFP

The Blues performance director looks back at the epic clash against the Boks, the upcoming match against the Japanese and recalls the work of several players, including the tricolor opener.

The state of the troops after the Springboks

“It was very physical. Nevertheless, it was the shortest impressive game since the 2019 World Cup quarter-final against Wales. We played an effective game for 27 minutes. On average, it’s about 37-38 minutes internationally. We are very low. Then he hit hard, fought a lot… Battle data was hit two or three times, that’s for sure. Players were given two days off. Surprisingly, we have quite a few new players. The players were good in training today (Wednesday). It got hard 24-48 hours after the game. But we try to get the players used to it during our training.

A week without Antoine Dupont

“Collective prevails over individuality. We know he is a key player in France’s XV. But Antoine is out for the card, but he could get injured at any moment and we have to do without him. He can be replaced by other players. We are preparing for it. We have some top players that can help fill that gap. (…) It’s never good not to have him, but that’s true for any player. It was not Antoine Dupont who made France collective. It’s better if it happens now, not during the World Cup. It’s good to be able to adapt without being our first choice in attack.

The incumbents must be chained

“If you’re on the November tour, that’s the only time you can string together three top-flight matches without a week off. The ones we don’t have during tournaments or summer tours. It is close to the final stage of the World Cup: quarter, semi, final. It is important for us to see how we can adapt to this programming. And how the players are able to fit in three high-level matches without rest. Even if we believe that Japan is not a big power on paper, we saw this summer that they will bring us fight and speed.»»

A change in preparation?

“Rugby remains an alliance between tackling and running, we have to be ready in both areas. The Australians offered us a trip, the South Africans a fight, I think the Japanese will be a mix of the two. As an artist, we have thirty colors, we can’t just use twenty and leave the rest aside. We have to be ready for any scenario.”

No contact with Danty in training

“Jonathan was detained on Wednesday during the intensity of the battle. It will also be Thursday, but it will be good for the weekend. He hit his face hard. After examinations, there was no suspicion of a fracture of the orbital floor. We put it back in the “game”. We tried to adapt, on Monday he did not compete, there was no contact. We will see his progress. But we will try to connect the connection as late as possible.

Ntamack is less decisive

“It’s hard to say. When he made it, he ticked all the boxes. We have no problem with him in athletics. After that, the matches become more and more difficult. The players, especially our hinge, are watched. We can’t always be on top every game, all year, every day. I’m not worried about Romain. It will be fine. We, in the performance field, would have done the opposite if we had the slightest doubt about his athletic ability when he returned. But he ticked all the boxes.

Great performance by Macaulou

“Sekou, we know his characteristics. He’s a guy who does 115 bars, runs at 36 or 37 per hour! There aren’t many people on planet rugby who can play more than one position. We’ve been expecting a big performance from him for a while, and it was against the Springboks. It’s great for the team, great for him!

He gave an interview in Markoussis

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