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Post by bsando on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 1:10 pm

France 42 man squad for the 6 Nations 2020
France 6N Thread 48c16610

France have selected their squad for the 2020 6 Nations. Sebastien Vahaamanhina can’t hinder the team again after his retirement from the game in 2019. From first glance it is a strong group with a lot of form Top14 players. Charles Ollivon will be captaining the side. The young flanker has been impressive for France and Toulon and as been handed a big opportunity by new head coach Fabien Galthié. In fact the new look squad has 19 uncapped players apparently.

France have struggled in the 6N for several years but after a strong showing in the RWC, notably against Wales before the red card, 2020 could well be a return to previous 6N glory for France. Write them off at your own peril!


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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 1:29 pm

I agree. They have shown ability over the last year but lack consistency. I’m hedging an outside bet for a french Championship win this year

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 1:37 pm

Culling of teh old guard I see with the following left out:

Guirado, Slimani, Gabrillagues, Lauret, Picamoles, Machenaud, Lopez, Huget & Medard

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 1:54 pm

I was likely to bet England GS, but there isn't too much money to be made off that. So I will probably cover France for the tournament, as they are my second favourites. I gather the bookies have the Irish second, Wales third and France fourth. I would have France ahead of Ireland and Wales really.

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Post by sensisball on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 2:14 pm

Back row of Macalou, Cross and Ollivon could be special.
Not sure that there is a natural successor to Vahaamanhina amongst the second rowers.
Plus a lot of fresh faced props.
Pretty raw set of 10's, particularly if Ntamack is going to play 12.
potentially the side could play some great rugby..  If  Shaun Edwards can add some steel to les bleus defense they should be competitive.

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Post by bsando on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 2:27 pm

After having a quick check of some of the new players included it is an incredibly young squad. You’d have to say the 2023 RWC is clearly a priority being the host nation.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 2:49 pm

France were poor in the World Cup. Squeezed past Argentina, almost came unstuck against Tonga and limp against Wales. 4th/5th finish for them in the 6Ns. They’re just lucky that Italy are utterly dire and getting worse year on year.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 3:06 pm

You can't win anything with kids Very Happy
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Post by whocares on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 9:11 pm

bsando wrote:After having a quick check of some of the new players included it is an incredibly young squad. You’d have to say the 2023 RWC is clearly a priority being the host nation.

19 uncapped guys , some were largely unknown last year , some are not finished material imo but most are form players. Clearly there to get a sniff at the highest level and make up numbers during training (and why not).
So who’s missing appart from the old guard (30+ yo) : Iturria (regular at Clermont and brings something on 2nd row), Gabrillagues (not world class but has experience), Irribaren (should have been the 3rd SH really), Tauzin (Toulouse form player last season after Kolbe), Raka (might not be consistent enough but not worst than Thomas and with more X factor than the other wings). Also think Médard or Huget could have helped and would be nice to give them a last cap before retirement.
Interestingly Galthié selected 3 pairs of 9-10 that play in same clubs (Bordeaux , Toulouse and Toulon ) and for all the critics in the past Toulon is the first provider of players with Toulouse (8 each).

What the team against England could look like :

Penaud Ramos Thomas

Fickou Vakatawa

Dupont Jalibert

Macalou Ollivon Cros

Le Roux ??

Poirot Chat Bamba

Subs : Aldegheri Marchand Baille ?? Aldritt Ntmack Rattez Serin

Haven’t got a faintest clue of who will be at lock appart from Le Roux who is the only guy big enough and with experience we have there. Maybe the other Saffer Willemse on the bench but even that is questionable . Others are very raw and some not even 1st choice at their clubs (Cazeaux at Bordeaux for instance).

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 9:17 pm

whocares wrote:
bsando wrote:After having a quick check of some of the new players included it is an incredibly young squad. You’d have to say the 2023 RWC is clearly a priority being the host nation.

19 uncapped guys , some were largely unknown last year , some are not finished material imo but most are form players. Clearly there to get a sniff at the highest level and make up numbers during training (and why not).
So who’s missing appart from the old guard (30+ yo) : Iturria (regular at Clermont and brings something on 2nd row), Gabrillagues (not world class but has experience), Irribaren (should have been the 3rd SH really), Tauzin (Toulouse form player last season after Kolbe), Raka (might not be consistent enough but not worst than Thomas and with more X factor than the other wings). Also think Médard or Huget could have helped and would be nice to give them a last cap before retirement.
Interestingly Galthié selected 3 pairs of 9-10 that play in same clubs (Bordeaux , Toulouse and Toulon ) and for all the critics in the past Toulon is the first provider of players with Toulouse (8 each).

What the team against England could look like :

Penaud Ramos Thomas

Fickou Vakatawa

Dupont Jalibert

Macalou Ollivon Cros

Le Roux ??

Poirot Chat Bamba

Subs : Aldegheri Marchand Baille ?? Aldritt Ntmack Rattez Serin

Haven’t got a faintest clue of who will be at lock appart from Le Roux who is the only guy big enough and with experience we have there. Maybe the other Saffer Willemse on the bench but even that is questionable . Others are very raw and some not even 1st choice at their clubs (Cazeaux at Bordeaux for instance).

Exciting times mate

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Post by whocares on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 10:05 pm

Yes and let’s hope they build up some momentum and some sort of winning mentality which seem to have deserted senior French teams in the last 8 years.
Also got an invite to see the opening game so couldn’t start better the year - first crunch since 2014 I think .

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 10:16 pm

whocares wrote:Yes and let’s hope they build up some momentum and some sort of winning mentality which seem to have deserted senior French teams in  the last 8 years.
Also got an invite to see the opening game so couldn’t start better the year - first crunch since 2014 I think .

Sure to be an interesting encounter. Although we would all guess there to be very few changes in the England team there are plenty of changes in their back room staff with a post RWC overhaul of the coaches. New attack, defence. Scrum and maybe Borthwick loving to in the rumour mill. This may be a positive or a negative but considering how they achieved in the RWC new faces may slow progression from where they left off and you may get your chance..!

An upset or two always makes a great tournament.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 09 Jan 2020, 12:56 pm

The French have improved alot at u20 so I assume the two winning teams would be seen as the hopes for 2023.

France of late seem to be a 60 minute team to can't finish out a game.  They also seem a team with no luck which maybe is more about their attitude and not creating their own luck.

I think this year they need to be looking to start well.  Last two years were unlucky/poor to not win the opening game and that puts them on the back foot for the rest of the tournament.

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Post by nlpnlp on Fri 10 Jan 2020, 6:07 pm

sensisball wrote:
Not sure that there is a natural successor to Vahaamanhina amongst the second rowers.

Hopefully not similar in stupidity and general lack of rugby skills to Vahaamanhina, but Romain Taofifenua is 2m and 133kg (nearly 21 stones), so much bigger than the English second rowers.  Paul Willemse is slightly taller and heavier.  So I don't think France will be lacking in size in the second row.  Galthie clearly seems to be picking a squad with the 2023 World Cup in mind - picking some of the younger players who have been successful at age grade International rugby and clearing out some of the older players who have perhaps become tainted by France's lack of success at full test level.  Like most French scrumhalfs, I think he is quite at home with a team made up of fast skillful backs and big bruising forwards.  So we can expect a return to a more traditional French approach, allied to a more disciplined and steely edge personified by Shaun Edwards.

With a bit of patience we could be in for some exciting times over the next few years with France, which after the vagaries of Jacques Brunnel and Philippe Saint-Andre is to be welcomed.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 12 Jan 2020, 10:50 pm

Alexandre Fischer was incredible against Ulster. He is one of the uncapped 19 and a superb breakdown artist. Four turnovers.

This weekend showed some really exciting French players looking in great form

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:49 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Culling of teh old guard I see with the following left out:

Guirado, Slimani, Gabrillagues, Lauret, Picamoles, Machenaud, Lopez, Huget & Medard

Significant names but after analysing the 42 you don't notice them missing. It's a good French squad. Over the weekend I had the chance to get a better look at Ollivon, he's a good play. Big and strong, potentially the type of thug that pushes it but doesn't get a red card, that France have been missing for a while.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:52 pm

Also interesting to see that the SA and PI players are on the rise in the France national team, they're catching the rest of us up...

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 6:37 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Culling of teh old guard I see with the following left out:

Guirado, Slimani, Gabrillagues, Lauret, Picamoles, Machenaud, Lopez, Huget & Medard

Significant names but after analysing the 42 you don't notice them missing. It's a good French squad. Over the weekend I had the chance to get a better look at Ollivon, he's a good play. Big and strong, potentially the type of thug that pushes it but doesn't get a red card, that France have been missing for a while.

This looks like a decent squad. The fact so many naively will write them off before they even start will be a huge bonus for them.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 8:00 am

Who is writing them off? Posters on social media or actual players and/or coaching staff from other nations?

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Post by whocares on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 4:51 am

14 players left the training camp and we are now down to 28 .
Jefferson Poirot, Cyril Baille ; Julien Marchand, Camille Chat ; Demba Bamba, Mohamed Haouas ; Bernard Le Roux, Boris Palu, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse ; Gregory Alldritt, Dylan Cretin, François Cros, Alexandre Fischer, Sekou Macalou, Charles Ollivon.

Antoine Dupont, Baptiste Serin ; Matthieu Jalibert, Romain Ntamack ; Gaël Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent ; Gabriel Ngandebe, Damian Penaud, Teddy Thomas ; Vincent Rattez, Anthony Bouthier.

Thomas Ramos leaving is the only minor surprise - might end up with a first cap for Bouthier then.

Edit : the 14 players that were released back to their clubs will still be back to the French squad on Sunday.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 7:42 am

whocares wrote:14 players left the training camp and we are now down to 28 .
Jefferson Poirot, Cyril Baille ; Julien Marchand, Camille Chat ; Demba Bamba, Mohamed Haouas ; Bernard Le Roux, Boris Palu, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse ; Gregory Alldritt, Dylan Cretin, François Cros, Alexandre Fischer, Sekou Macalou, Charles Ollivon.

Antoine Dupont, Baptiste Serin ; Matthieu Jalibert, Romain Ntamack ; Gaël Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent ; Gabriel Ngandebe, Damian Penaud, Teddy Thomas ; Vincent Rattez, Anthony Bouthier.

Thomas Ramos leaving is the only minor surprise - might end up with a first cap for Bouthier then.

Edit : the 14 players that were released back to their clubs will still be back to the French squad on Sunday.

So who are you thinking might form the match day 23?

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Post by whocares on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 9:36 am

Am assuming :
Poirot - Chat - Bamba
Leroux- Tao
Cros/Macalou- Ollivon - Aldritt/Macalou
Dupont - Ntamack
Thomas - Fickou - Vakatawa Penaud
Bouthier
Subs :Baille - Marchand - Haouas - Palu - Fisher/Aldritt/Macalou/Cros - Serin - Jalibert - Rattez

Back row selection is a bit difficult : Ollivon has to start because he is. captain , will he play flanker or 8 ? keeping in mind he is not the best flanker (IMO Macalou and Cros are above) while Aldritt might be a better number 8. Fischer has also been showing some great form recently but maybe too early for him . Rest of the team sort of picks itself but still expect a surprise or two (just hope there is no out of postions selection like Jalibert at 15 as read on internet!)


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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 9:31 am

Jalibert More a ten than fifteen

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Post by whocares on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 1:07 pm

Big time and don’t want to imagine how he would cope against England high balls (remember when Huget played there).

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 2:32 pm

Cyril wrote:Who is writing them off? Posters on social media or actual players and/or coaching staff from other nations?

Anyone whos watched France play for the last decade? Theyve always had the player resources to as a minimum "beat anyone on their day". Year on year theyve had a squad capable of winning the six nations, but without the level of player control that the Irish, Welsh and English have simply cant put together 5 full intensity games of cohesive rugby on the bounce. They play with one hand behind their back, to win the 6 nations would take a monumental effort and some exceptional performances. Theyve had players who've shown that level of brilliance in flashes and at club level before. This squad is no different in that regard.

10 years of 3rd or worse, whats changed? 10 years of being overhyped by the "experts". The pundits arent paid to state the obvious; the french just dont care enough about the 6 nations to structure their domestic game around it anymore.

Now at some point the monkey typewriters / stars aligning scenario will occur and this year the opposition aside from England is in " transition", but then this is an extremely fresh France squad and even more of an overhaul for them. New players, new system, new combinations and a tough game to start ...dont see it myself.

Its not an ideal fixture for England first up either mind, bit of a unknown quantity but as a side who will be at their heart the same people and same systems that have served them well over the past couple of years all the advantages are on their side. England should be big favourites, and starting off with a home loss pretty much ends Frances 6 nations challenge.

Three home game advantage is somewhat tempered by one being Italy, anyone challenging for the title should see Italy away as a five pointer. Theyve got two home and one away fixture that are very tough.

Englands away games...France, Italy Scotland. If they get through this then the title is in their hands. "Le Crunch" actually deserves its name for one?

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Post by whocares on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 3:24 pm

Although French based players do play more games during the season than British or Irish ones, there has been some steps towards correcting that. For instance the 28 core players didn’t go back to their clubs this weekend which wasn’t the case before. JIFF rules have also been more strict over the years. So don’t think you can say that they don’t care about the 6N given all the compromises French clubs have been forced into recently. Doesn’t mean they will be much better though, you also need the players to make it happen.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 4:26 pm

whocares wrote:Although French based players do play more games during the season than British or Irish ones, there has been some steps towards correcting that. For instance the 28 core players didn’t go back to their clubs this weekend which wasn’t the case before. JIFF rules have also been more strict over the years. So don’t think you can say that they don’t care about the 6N given all the compromises French clubs have been forced into recently. Doesn’t mean they will be much better though, you also need the players to make it happen.

Ah fair enough, so things are changing for the better. In that case I retract most of my rubbishing of their chances!

I still think it is a very difficult task for a new coach to take a new group of players with so many new caps and shape them into a coherent side in such a short period, whereas England have a huge amount of continuity in their squad and likely first choice team.

Wait and see if all the Racing players decide to go play for them instead though Wink

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Post by sensisball on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 4:52 pm

A fault of previous regimes was to pluck a promising youngster, give him 4 or 5 games to prove he is up to international level and if he doesn't make a big impact them he was dropped for the next youngster in line.
I hope that Galthie breaks with tradition and gives his chosen newbies time to bed in before disposing of their services. The likes of Danty, Cancoriet and Bezy spring to mind as players dropped within a season or so of making the first team.

If the team has a rocky start to the 6N's he cant panic and bring back the senior players he deemed were no longer fit for purpose. It would totally undermine the confidence of his chosen squad.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 4:59 pm

whocares wrote:
Although French based players do play more games during the season than British or Irish ones, there has been some steps towards correcting that. For instance the 28 core players didn’t go back to their clubs this weekend which wasn’t the case before. JIFF rules have also been more strict over the years. So don’t think you can say that they don’t care about the 6N given all the compromises French clubs have been forced into recently. Doesn’t mean they will be much better though, you also need the players to make it happen.


I am no expert but I look at the proposed French team and think that there is a lot of talent there. The most recent problems seem to be more mental than anything, except possibly conditioning. France have put in some very impressive halves of rugby but seem almost guaranteed to collapse at some point against the toughest opposition

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Post by whocares on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 7:01 pm

Yes confidence has been one of the issues of past French teams (amongst others such as difficulty to adapt to international rugby pace and conditioning). maybe a loser mentality was getting inside the old leaders heads(you often hear about teams that don’t know how to lose and sometimes you felt it was the opposite for France). So it was necessary to get rid of the old guard and maybe trust players who have been successful at U20 for instance. Still I dont expect miracles from Galthié who I don’t specially rate as a coach but if they can build on this generation and don’t change players every 2 games I don’t mind if they finish in the bottom half of the 6N.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 7:13 pm

whocares wrote:Yes confidence has been one of the issues of past French teams (amongst others such as difficulty to adapt to international rugby pace and conditioning). maybe a loser mentality was getting inside the old leaders heads(you often hear about teams that don’t know how to lose and sometimes you felt it was the opposite for France). So it was necessary to get rid of the old guard and maybe trust players who have been successful at U20 for instance. Still I dont expect miracles from Galthié who I don’t specially rate as a coach but if they can build on this generation and don’t change players every 2 games I don’t mind if they finish in the bottom half of the 6N.

The majority of the younger players have been party of an invincible U20s program. There’s talent and flair in abundance around the halfbacks and centres. If they can convert that confidence to men’s rugby

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 9:01 am

Interesting interview with Shaun Edwards discussing his change of life but also talking about the difficulties french players have with refs giving constant instructions at the breakdown in English. While he has spent the last 6 months learning french he has apparently in training been using the phrases Nigel Owens is likely to use in the game to try and help the players adapt.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 10:16 am

LondonTiger wrote:Interesting interview with Shaun Edwards discussing his change of life but also talking about the difficulties french players have with refs giving constant instructions at the breakdown in English. While he has spent the last 6 months learning french he has apparently in training been using the phrases Nigel Owens is likely to use in the game to try and help the players adapt.

Yeeeeews

“Now we’ve not met before, but I am the referee, we only need one on the pitch during a match”!

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Post by whocares on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:47 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Interesting interview with Shaun Edwards discussing his change of life but also talking about the difficulties french players have with refs giving constant instructions at the breakdown in English. While he has spent the last 6 months learning french he has apparently in training been using the phrases Nigel Owens is likely to use in the game to try and help the players adapt.

That’s not a bad approach in my opinion.

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Post by sensisball on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 2:19 pm

A blow for France. Chat, the Racing 92 hooker, is unavailable (calf strain) for the England match. He is replaced in the squad by the 21-year-old Baubigny, a club mate of Chat. However, he is unlikely to make the bench with Julien Marchand of Toulouse as the probable starter. Peato Mauvaka of Toulon has been involved with the squad before, has a single cap, and will probably bench.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 2:54 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
whocares wrote:Yes confidence has been one of the issues of past French teams (amongst others such as difficulty to adapt to international rugby pace and conditioning). maybe a loser mentality was getting inside the old leaders heads(you often hear about teams that don’t know how to lose and sometimes you felt it was the opposite for France). So it was necessary to get rid of the old guard and maybe trust players who have been successful at U20 for instance. Still I dont expect miracles from Galthié who I don’t specially rate as a coach but if they can build on this generation and don’t change players every 2 games I don’t mind if they finish in the bottom half of the 6N.

The majority of the younger players have been party of an invincible U20s program. There’s talent and flair in abundance around the halfbacks and centres. If they can convert that confidence to men’s rugby

Confidence is one thing but I do feel its a year too soon for the French group. You have chucked out a few points that have made me think again about France, previously when I asked no-one could back up their assertions regarding France with anything other than the usual "they have good players" which has been true every year they've failed in the past 10. 
Its a huge ask though for such an inexperienced group to go up against a well drilled side like England who play such a high tempo game. 
next year once this side has had time to find itself and the players better understand test rugby. 
I dont think the coaches are even targeting immediate success as a priority, the talk has all been about a long term project. Thats not to say they wont want to win of course, but more the squad (and Captain) that was picked was about where they want to be in 4 years rather than winning this year. 
Its very rare that a team has the level of continuity in players that Englands squad managed to keep form the last world cup. They have no excuses not to win. I guess the two things going for France are that they can play with no pressure and England will have to work them out on the fly a bit whereas France will know 90% of what England will do. 
Should be entertaining but England ought to win. France should get better as the tournament progresses and they develop their game, think England did well to get this first up whilst they are still finding their feet.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 9:50 am

An interesting article by Thomas Lombard

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-thomas-lombard-previews-le-crunch/

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:59 am

maestegmafia wrote:An interesting article by Thomas Lombard

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-thomas-lombard-previews-le-crunch/

Frenchman tips France to win. Interesting take.

It is a good article actually. France are definitely going in the right direction. It is just a question of how quickly (and how much of a RWC hangover England have)

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:07 am

lostinwales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:An interesting article by Thomas Lombard

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-thomas-lombard-previews-le-crunch/

Frenchman tips France to win. Interesting take.

It is a good article actually. France are definitely going in the right direction. It is just a question of how quickly (and how much of a RWC hangover England have)

That’s what I thought, very few articles in English that show the struggles of french rugby to us outsiders. Hopefully floor them they can get things back on track. Though I doubt there will be a historic french win this Sunday.


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Post by lostinwales on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:16 am

maestegmafia wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:An interesting article by Thomas Lombard

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-thomas-lombard-previews-le-crunch/

Frenchman tips France to win. Interesting take.

It is a good article actually. France are definitely going in the right direction. It is just a question of how quickly (and how much of a RWC hangover England have)

That’s what I thought, very few articles in English that show the struggles of french rugby to us outsiders. Hopefully floor them they can get things back on track. Though I doubt there will be a historic french win this Sunday.


The other thing to take out of this is the relative sizes of the back row. You could say that France are gambling on getting dominance in the lineout by having a tall back row, but there will be a price to pay.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:19 am

There is a certain element in the pre-6N chat by coaches wishing to look to emulate the springboks RWC winning team in some way. The search for a Powerful pack touted often in interviews with the coaches. All soon to be revealed

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:36 am

lostinwales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:An interesting article by Thomas Lombard

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-thomas-lombard-previews-le-crunch/

Frenchman tips France to win. Interesting take.

It is a good article actually. France are definitely going in the right direction. It is just a question of how quickly (and how much of a RWC hangover England have)

That’s what I thought, very few articles in English that show the struggles of french rugby to us outsiders. Hopefully floor them they can get things back on track. Though I doubt there will be a historic french win this Sunday.


The other thing to take out of this is the relative sizes of the back row. You could say that France are gambling on getting dominance in the lineout by having a tall back row, but there will be a price to pay.


Getting at Englands line out would be a bit of a game changer, they are very reliant on kicking to touch for territory

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:10 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:An interesting article by Thomas Lombard

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-thomas-lombard-previews-le-crunch/

Frenchman tips France to win. Interesting take.

It is a good article actually. France are definitely going in the right direction. It is just a question of how quickly (and how much of a RWC hangover England have)

That’s what I thought, very few articles in English that show the struggles of french rugby to us outsiders. Hopefully floor them they can get things back on track. Though I doubt there will be a historic french win this Sunday.


The other thing to take out of this is the relative sizes of the back row. You could say that France are gambling on getting dominance in the lineout by having a tall back row, but there will be a price to pay.


Getting at Englands line out would be a bit of a game changer, they are very reliant on kicking to touch for territory

I would imagine that the coaches will be looking to smarten up their defence and find one point they consider a weakness and focus on that. Line out could well be it..!


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Post by lostinwales on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:16 pm

You could argue that to retain your own ball you only need a couple of good options. France will still need one guy to out jump Itoje which is no mean feat. Having 5 jumpers should give them a lot more options on their own ball should help them, but then they have issues at hooker which won't.

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Post by sensisball on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:53 pm

Marchant has been excellent at hitting his man for Toulouse and is a really dynamic player. Ollivon is about 6 6 and a good tail jumper. If Marchand can hit him accurately they will be able to generate quick ball. Cross is also a good lineout option being relatively light and as a fellow Toulouse player will know Marchant's throwing technique inside out.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:40 pm

Lots of pundits backing France this year

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/definitive-six-nations-media-verdict-17624380

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 4:24 pm

I still feel that a lot of the noise for France is driven by hope rather that realism. What we have are new coaches, a very inexperienced squad and very little past form to base things on. I hope France can get their act together but feel this is the start of the journey and there will be several bumps on the way.

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Post by bsando on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 4:56 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I still feel that a lot of the noise for France is driven by hope rather that realism. What we have are new coaches, a very inexperienced squad and very little past form to base things on. I hope France can get their act together but feel this is the start of the journey and there will be several bumps on the way.

I tend to agree, Wales, Ireland and England all pretty settled XV’s and Scotland away could be tough for them too. Guess we’ll have a better idea after the first round.

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Post by profitius on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 5:18 pm

maestegmafia wrote:Lots of pundits backing France this year

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/definitive-six-nations-media-verdict-17624380


Based on their last 2 U20 sides and Sean Edwards.


On the one hand we hear about how it's risky to make too many changes. France makes a record amount throwing in a load of young lads and everyone things they'll be better this season. Hard to see that happening.


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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 5:46 pm

profitius wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Lots of pundits backing France this year

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/definitive-six-nations-media-verdict-17624380


Based on their last 2 U20 sides and Sean Edwards.


On the one hand we hear about how it's risky to make too many changes. France makes a record amount throwing in a load of young lads and everyone things they'll be better this season. Hard to see that happening.



A lot of pundits are clamouring for new caps, certainly the welsh pundits, but backed by form too. If they are young with great form there is a great case to play them this six nations not in two years time I guess.

I would love to see a bit of the exuberance of ulyouth in the french team. The young players they picked last year were really good.

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