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no pressure for the Blues before the clash against the All Blacks


Cédric Chasseur, edited by Gauthier Delomez / Photo credits: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP
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06:25, September 07, 2023

The composition of the XV of France for the opening match of the World Cup against the All Blacks – a meeting to follow live on Europe 1 this Friday from 8 p.m. – is now known. And on the eve of this long-awaited shock, the pressure does not seem to disturb Fabien Galthié’s players.

Yoram Moefana established in the center, in place of Jonathan Danty, too fair to start: here is the only surprise of the composition of the XV of France of Fabien Galthié. The Blues face the All Blacks this Friday evening for the opening match of the Rugby World Cup – a match to be followed live and in full from 8 p.m. on Europe 1. On the eve of this clash, the French players will acquaintance this Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with the Stade de France, the scene of this long-awaited confrontation.

The stress absent from the vocabulary of the Blues

And on D-1 of this crucial match for both teams, the pressure seems quite relative among the Blues, to hear their captain and scrum half Antoine Dupont. For the Toulouse player, the atmosphere is good around the France team, and stress does not seem to be part of his vocabulary.

“I don’t feel any negative or insane pressure today in the team, I think it’s a good thing”, explains the French number 9 at a press conference. “Obviously the closer you get to it, the more you feel the excitement, the enthusiasm, the growing fervor. It’s really enthusiasm and desire that fill the group”, confides the one who had been voted best player in the world in 2021.

“We are light, very light”, launches Fabien Galthié

Since the beginning of his mandate, Fabien Galthié and his staff have worked on the mental aspect of preparing for a meeting. And this first confrontation against the Blacks is an opportunity to remind the coach that a rugby match is above all fun. “Our mode of operation, internally, it is simply to play, to live in the present moment and to love each other very strongly, that is the challenge for us”, agrees the tactician. “We do not carry the weight, the backpack of elements that could weigh us down. We are light, very light”, adds Fabien Galthié.

And it will take a lot of levity for the Blues to overthrow New Zealand, which has never lost in the group stage of a World Cup: 31 matches, 31 victories…