A mess of emotions and panache. This is what to remember from the last match of the summer tour of the XV of France in Australia, Saturday July 17 in Brisbane, despite his defeat (33-30) during this last meeting of the series of three games against the Wallabies.
The coach, Fabien Galthié had announced it before the second meeting and the historic victory (28-26) of the Blues (the first since June 1990), Tuesday in Melbourne: “Matching with the Australian team and discovering talent: that’s the vision of this tour. “
For the first objective, it is partly successful. If the France team lost the series, it was on a par with Australia. But, above all, Fabien Galthié and his staff are leaving from the other side of the world with a few ideas in mind because some players have burst the screen.
🇦🇺🇫🇷 End of the game in Brisbane! Our Blues gave absolutely everything in this part, but it is Australia which re… https://t.co/CxF9be09uP
This adventure of nearly a month in Australia, the XV of France lived it without its usual executives, spared after an exhausting season or mobilized to play the final of the Top 14, between the Stade Toulousain and La Rochelle, on June 25 .
Without Charles Ollivon, Grégory Alldritt, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Gaël Fickou and others, the coach of the Blues had resolved to take novices for this summer tour in the southern hemisphere.
21 players discovered the XV of France
Of the 41 players who crossed the planet, only 8 had been selected for the last match of the Six Nations Tournament and 21 discovered the XV of France. Not all of them had the honor of wearing the tricolor tunic, but some took the opportunity to shine and claim to secure a place in the group in the long term.
Anthony Jelonch is one of them. In the absence of the usual holders of the captain’s armband, it was the third line that wore it in all three games and proved convincing, despite making eight small caps before the start of the summer tour.
Melvyn Jaminet, he was a novice in the France team at the time of starting, on July 7, the first match of this series against the Wallabies (21-23). His inexperience, the opening half paid dearly during this meeting, losing the last ball of the match, on which the Australians won.
Despite this fatal error, the one who won the Pro D2 championship this season with Perpignan made up for it in the next two games, with an almost perfect kicking game (only one missed penalty). “It was hard to take, I was frustrated to have lost the team on this last missed pass. I thank the coaches for trusting me again “, declared Jaminet after the feat achieved against the Wallabies on Tuesday.
Galthié “impressed” by Vincent
In the hooker position, Gaëtan Barlot also seized his chance. Three first matches in selection and three good copies made. Enough to give Fabien Galthié a headache to choose his first line. The coach said above all ” impressed By Arthur Vincent.
The center was almost like old man within the group with its 11 selections before the start of the tour. “He confirms, exit after exit, opponent after opponent, context after context. (…) He is very present and he is one of the best. He is growing and helping our team to grow ”, Fabien Galthié explained in a press videoconference before the third match against the Australians.
On Saturday, Arthur Vincent was once again efficient despite a forward which cost the French a try at the end of the first period. The Montpellier player scored points in the eyes of the staff, like other novices who played at least one of the three games: Cameron Woki, Jonathan Danty, Ibrahim Diallo or Louis Carbonel.
Proud of you @FranceRugby 🐓👊🏻 #AUSFRA https://t.co/Qzdze45qmC
Of the 41 players selected, nine will not have played a single minute in Australia. So many faces that the staff of the XV of France will have to summon again to see them at work. For these “frustrated”, nothing is lost.
“We spoke to them making them understand that they were part of the project until the 2023 World Cup. All that these players have been able to store will be very precious for their career”, assured Raphaël Ibanez, the manager of the Blues before this last match against Australia.
At the next meeting of the XV of France, in November for test matches against Argentina and Georgia, some heads present in Australia could again emerge in the group of the Blues.
This trip to the other side of the world and the emotions experienced by these novices of the France team may have forged links that will nourish French rugby in the coming years.
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