Fifteen months before the opening of the World Cup, the XV of France, on its land, is the big favorite for the title (the only one it lacks) with its grand slam and clubs which have won for the second year. immediately the two European cups.
Currently, it is not good to rub shoulders with the French. Recalling the last Six Nations Tournament, the 10th Grand Slam in its history after that of 2010, France climbed to 2nd place in the world. In clubs, same success! In the Champions Cup, they were three French residents in the semi-finals (Toulouse, La Rochelle and Racing 92). La Rochelle finally won the Grail with authority against the Irish club Leinster (24-21).
The XV of France at 2th world rank
In the Challenge Cup, Lyon won in a 100% French final against the RCT (30 to 12). Hard to beat ! “Currently, France is only winning. I hope this will continue. This creates significant excitement. I realize this in Montpellier. People come a lot more to watch rugby. They feast.
Since the XV of France chained the big results, people are more interested in rugby than in football. You only have to look at the number of viewers recorded on the French team’s last match in the Tournament with more than 8 million to realize it” underlines the French international of the MHR Mohamed Haouas (15 selections). His partner and future Toulonnais, Benoît Paillaugue, is on the same wavelength:
“A lot of international players want to come to our Top 14. Indeed, there is money, but also a championship that is running very well. The France team is reaping the rewards. We must continue in this direction. This will give even more desire to young players to register for rugby.
“The TOP 14 gave French players more luck”
Eric Bonneval (18 selections) sees several reasons for this overall improvement. “The clubs, the selection, it is still linked. One pulls the other. When the France team is doing well, the clubs are generally doing well too. And vice versa. When Toulon dominated and the French team was worse off, there weren’t many French people in the RCT. At one point, being French in the Top 14 is almost a feat. We had a shortage of positions.
“We would rather go for foreigners and 110 kg physique than a 20-year-old Frenchman. We then had a stagnant rugby, without freshness, without passion, which was stereotyped. We realized that we could play rugby without having this monstrous physique. Look at those who arrive in Toulouse next season with Capuozzo, Jaminet! »
“There are fashions and circumstances. However, there is no secret. The best players progress by playing. At 20, the apprenticeship is complete. A favorable general context has been set up. This is also true in others. When the English dominated us in the European Cup, very often the XV of the Rose was successful. Same with the Irish. The Top 14 gave more luck to French players. The young people have risen to power. They won, and we made them play more. Chose what we didn’t do before. They gained confidence.”
From the Federation to the general public, the Blues will be supported
All that remains is to win the jackpot, the supreme title, that of world champion. Not easy for Eric Bonneval…” To win a World Cup, you need a bit of success too. Frankly, on the potential, the people, the players you need. The organization, the preparation, the will of the Federation and the clubs, everyone will push behind this French team. Our players will arrive at the right time, in full possession of their means with enough experience”.
“Afterwards, in an event like this, you shouldn’t take a red card at the wrong time, or have someone injured, because some players are almost irreplaceable. We are not immune to the glitch, the error. There aren’t many in the world and we are lucky to have one. We have the 9. The world champion is always the strongest. But it’s not always the best team that wins. A World Cup is special, it’s not a championship. You miss a game and you’re cooked. I obviously distrust South Africans and black people. The opening match will be fabulous, but it will not be vital for the rest, above all you have to win the matches you need”. At time T, many lights are green on the French side. What hope to continue to surf on this blue wave ”.