On Charles Ollivon, back in selection after a year of absence
“He entered the tour with the rally in Monaco with the Babaas as captain. He is very comfortable, he has regained all his abilities, he is in the process of stringing together matches. He played again in the spring with Toulon and was one of those who allowed the club to become competitive again very quickly. He had surgery a little over a year ago. He is really in the good intermediate times, if not beyond. He goes fast, he is good, fresh, available and happy to be there. He has already confirmed with this match against England (victory of the Barbarians, 52-21), he went on to a second captaincy and a new cape with the France team. »
On Thomas Jolmes, who will celebrate his first selection
“We left our two right second row in France, Paul Willemse, who is recovering from a sprained knee, and Romain Taofifenua. This is an opportunity to look for a right-handed profile. Thomas Jolmes is in good shape, he had a good season with Bordeaux. He seems to us, in view of the first two weeks of work, very relevant in his actions, in his game, in his role. Comfortable too. This is why we have chosen to establish him, associated with Thibaud Flament. We had summoned him this winter but he had injured his hamstring. »
On Yoan Tanga, who will celebrate his first selection
“He had a very good season with Racing. We had selected him among the 42 this winter, but he was injured off the field, with a deep cut. We were able to select it with the Barbarians, which was an intense week of work to test our new version (training). Yoan was very efficient during the week, 80 minutes of very high level in the position of number 8 when we were for more than half time at 14… He has already experienced a rather special “first selection” , he deserves to continue his momentum. »
“We find Matthieu (Jalibert) as a player who is very hungry. […] He is part of this category of players who are very happy to take up the challenge.
On Matthieu Jalibert, back in selection, after missing the Tournament
“We find him as a player who is very hungry. He is a competitor, he had a difficult end to the season, he was injured a lot, he missed a lot of matches. He is very young but he paid the consequences of a series of 40 matches, something like that. He finds his means, he is fresh, he wants. He belongs to this category of players who are very happy to take up the challenge. »
On the winning record
“The numbers are there. But, honestly, without making a fuss, we haven’t really mentioned the subject: we’re working on the performance, on the group. Add the additional weight of a possible record (a ninth victory in a row would be a first for the French team), that is not the point. All players want to grab this opportunity, they want to seize their chance. It’s a hungry team: we see it in our team profile, these are players who want to match (and earn their place). Everything is possible, we often tell players: “You are the one who enters the locker room, you are the one who takes the shirt.” We are here to put the best team in France, to prepare you but it is you who are the authors of your destiny. These players have a big appetite and they all know what for. »
“Facing Uruguay in the last game, Japan changed their strategy. We didn’t really find what we had studied, they played differently.
“By studying the opponent, we saw his offensive qualities, his qualities of animation… Even if against Uruguay, in the last match (43-7 win)they changed their strategy (with more footwork). We didn’t really find what we had studied, they played differently. It’s a team that has defensive qualities, especially in the ground game. They perform well with or without the ball. They are failures, we will see what they will offer. »
On the heat
“The conditions will also play a role: the heat and the humidity, it’s an extra player. A priori, the team that receives us is more used than us to that. But the performance cell with the nutritionists has worked a lot, especially on dehydration. We can share the numbers with you: players in training, which is about two-thirds of a game, lose 3.5 liters of water. Performance is affected, it impacts cognition, it’s part of the game. Who will be the most impacted? It will be an issue. »