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France World Cup buildup

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Post by sensisball Thu 03 Aug 2023, 8:25 am

As France prepare for their first match, away to Scotland, thought i would post their current 42 man squad.

Forwards:  
Props:  Cyril Baille, Reda Wardi, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Uini Atonio, Dorian Aldegheri, Demba Bamba, Sipili Falatea.

Hookers:  Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Pierre Bourgarit

Second row:  Cameron Woki, Thibeaud Flament, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse, Bastien Chalureau, Florian Verhaeghe.

Back Row:  Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Francois Cros, Sekou Macalou, Paul Boudehent, Dylan Cretin, Yoan Tanga.


Backs:
Scrum-half:  Antoine Dupont, Maxime Lucu, Baptiste Couilloud, Baptiste Serin.

Fly-half:  Romian Ntamack, Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Hastoy.

Centres:  Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Yoram Moefana, Arthur Vincent, Emilien Gailleton.

Wingers/ Fullbacks:  Damien Penaud, Gabin Villière, Thomas Ramos, Melvyn Jaminet, Ethan Dumortier, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Brice Dulin.

Only 2 players unavailable for selection:

Francois Cros has a thigh strain but may be available for the return match against Scotland in Saint Etienne.

Romain Taofifenua has a a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for 3/4 weeks. Wont play before the squad is cut to 33.

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Post by sensisball Thu 03 Aug 2023, 12:07 pm

France team for Murrayfield. I’m not saying there is such a thing as a France B team, maaaaate, but if there was this would be kind of close to it.

1. Jean-Baptiste Gros
2. Pierre Bourgarit
3. Demba Bamba
4. Cameron Woki
5. Bastien Chalureau
6. Paul Boudehent
7. Sekou Macalou
8. Yoan Tanga

9. Baptiste Couilloud
10. Matthieu Jalibert
11. Ethan Dumortier
12. Yoram Moefana
13. Emilien Gailleton
14. Louis Bielle-Biarrey
15. Brice Dulin

Bench (5/3 split):
16. Peato Mauvaka ,17.  Reda Wardi, 18.  Sipili Falatea, 19. Paul Willemse,
20. Dylan  Cretin, 21. Baptiste Serin, 22.Antoine Hastoy, 23. Arthur Vincent,

First cap for the La Rochelle flanker Paul Boudehent, a reward for a very strong club season.
In addition, two U20 players: the outside centre from Pau, Emilien Gailleton, who has scored over a dozen tries for his club last season. Physically looks and moves a bit like a younger Damien Penaud.
Louis Bielle-Biarrey has played most of the season for Bordeaux. Preferred position is full back but comfortable on the wing. Very elusive runner, but on the small side.

I think Tanga and Boudehent might be playing for the final back row slot. Both La Rochelle players have different strengths. Boudehent is a better lineout operator and physically more imposing around the ruck and tackle area.

Tanga is a bit shorter and lighter but quicker around the park. Has the flexibility to play 7 or 8, whereas Boudehent is primarily a 6.

A few players coming back from injury last season including both starting props, although Bamba did start a few games for Lyon at the latter end of the season.

Can Cameron Woki recapture the form he showed during the grand slam run?

Can Seku Macalou do a decent job at 7, when 8 and wing are his preferred positions? (It still sounds insane actually saying that)

Can Chalureau carry ball like Willemse or Taofifenua?

Will Artur Vincent be able to make a difference from the bench, after a long injury lay off?

Who will win the 9 shoot out between Couilloud and Serin? Surely they are scraping for the third 9 berth.

Should be a cracking game, Scotland should be favourites as they have gone very much for their A team, maaaaaaaaate!

France bench is very strong, particularly in the forwards, might make the difference.

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Post by Unclear Thu 03 Aug 2023, 2:00 pm

Thanks Sensisball, very interesting and some useful insight as I don't follow the French game in any detail and usually struggle with identifying even 50% of any French international team, let alone squad members.

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Post by sensisball Mon 07 Aug 2023, 1:14 pm

After the proverbial game of two halves, from both teams, apparently Galthie is considering rolling out the at least the spine of the A team for the St Etienne game.
That suggests that Marchand, Alldritt, Dupont, Ntmack and Ramos will be involved.

With Toonie apparently thinking about going full strength again, apart from ZF who awaits his ban, it could be another cracker.
Of last weeks game many of the French players came out with credit.

Gros was solid, if unspectacular, for a first game back after several months out inured. Likely to be third choice loosehead behind Wardi who offers a bit more as a ball carrier and scrummager.

Bourgarit looked strong in the carry and his darts were generally good. Pretty strong to have him as a third choice hooker.

Bamba looked lively, and carried well. Likely to end up as bench tight head in the big games.

Woki was prominent after a season away from the French team. Lineout was good and took his try well.

Chalureau was workmanlike and uses his physicality well, both sides of the ball. If France take 5 locks he will go, if they take 4 he will miss out to the other big units Willemse and Taofifenua.

Back row were good in the first half but faded quite badly. Tanga was probably the most prominent of the three although Boudehent had a few decent carries. Macalou had a quiet game.

At 9, Baptiste Couilloud provided good service to Jalibert in the first half and finished the first try exceptionally well. Probably a better passer of the ball than Serin, but the Toulon man has, I think, a better all-round game.

Matthieu Jalibert started well, getting the back line moving well and showed that he is a decent emergency goal kicker if Ramos and Jaminet aren't playing.

Dumortier didn't see a huge amount of ball, and almost got to the touchdown before Darcy, but lost out by a few centimetres.

Yoram Moefana had some nice touches without being dominant in attack or defence.

Emilien Gailleton enjoyed a strong first cap. Fantastic outside break getting past Duhan to set up the first try. Didn't look out of place at international level and has some serious wheels.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey also looked comfortable at this level, and took his try like a veteran. Superb pace to glide between Watson and Kinghorn.

Brice Dulin continues to struggle playing against Scotland. Secure under the high ball (set up the first try from a long kick from Kinghorn) with some great touch finders but didn't attack much ball in hand. His decision making as captain at the end was also questionable. Having not been involved with France for the last two seasons, and not being a goal kicker, I don't think he will make the final cut.

By the time the bench was used the game had swung in Scotland's favour, and few players had a positive impact. Willemse had some good carries, as did Wardi, but others did less well.

Mauvaka made more mistakes in 20 minutes than he has done in the last two seasons whilst the amount of strapping on Falatea's right leg suggests he might not last the tournament, if selected ahead of  Aldegheri.

France lost their shape in the second half and were just using one out runners instead of their usual "submerger" pattern to make ground. They had no answers for Scotland's much improved attack.

This was highlighted by Falatea's final carry when he ran into contact, on his own, and got pinged for holding on.

French fitness really suffered in the final 40, and they need high fitness levels to play their style of game successfully.

From Galthie's perspective, he will be hoping this is because of where they are in their training cycle rather than just being undercooked.

Hopefully it will be another exciting game next week in St Etienne.

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Post by sensisball Thu 10 Aug 2023, 10:23 am

France bring out the big guns, or at least most of them for St Etienne.

1. Baille
2. Marchant
3. Aldegheri
4. Woki
5. Flament
6. Boudehent
7. Ollivon
8. Alldritt

9. Dupont
10. Ntamack
11. Villiere
12. Danty
13. Fickou
14. Penaud
15 Ramos
Bench
16. Bourgarit
17. Gros
18. Atonio
19. Verhaeghe
20. Chalureau
21. Macalou
22  Serin
23. Bielle-Biarrey

Ramos covering 10 and Bielle-Biarrey covers wing and FB
Much lighter front 5 than usual. Woki and Flament is an incredibly mobile second row, but will they miss the carrying grunt of Willemse and Atonio around the ruck?

Picked up a few injuries last week, don't think any were serious ( Bamba and Tanga) and don't want to risk Willemse with Taofifenua still coming back from a hamstring pull.

Atonio, Bourgarit and Wardi will bring carrying power later on.

Scotland still at near full strength, could be a great game


Last edited by sensisball on Thu 17 Aug 2023, 12:59 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by BamBam Mon 14 Aug 2023, 9:51 am

Ntamack out for the tournament due to a ACL injury, real shame. He should have been one of the stars

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 14 Aug 2023, 9:52 am

Ouch. Him and Dupont work so well together. Though having Dupont next to anyone makes you look a million bucks I reckon.

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 14 Aug 2023, 12:11 pm

I dont think it will impact France that much, Jaibert is arguably better anyway albeit Ntamak is obviously a great player.

Harsh on him to miss out on his home RWC.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 14 Aug 2023, 12:46 pm

Baille out for 5 to 6 weeks. The question will be whether to name him, and try to get by with front row stocks until he recovers.

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Post by sensisball Mon 14 Aug 2023, 2:36 pm

I wonder if they might call in a temporary replacement loose head for the bench for these last 2 warm up games?

The squads aren't officially fixed until 1st September. That would mean playing Wardi one week and Gros the next, with the temp player covering the bench in both matches.

It would give a couple of weeks to see how Baille is recovering and if it doesn't look like he would make it, the replacement player would have been involved for two weeks before the tournament starts and could be named in the final squad.

Hopefully not required as losing Baille would be another massive loss for France.

I wonder if the former captain, Poirot, would be considered? Still playing well for Bordeaux but maybe the trauma of losing in Japan is still too raw for him to make a comeback?

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 14 Aug 2023, 8:48 pm

Such a shame for Ntamack, I doubt there’ll be another World Cup for him on home soil. Injury permitting he’ll be at the next World Cup, class is permanent. Lucky for France that they have another good fly-half, and DuPont could help make an average one much better anyway.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 14 Aug 2023, 8:51 pm

Quick question, do France actually play with an open-side? Seems like their back row is mostly lock/hybrid players who are good at everything.

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Post by sensisball Thu 17 Aug 2023, 12:56 pm

France team for Fiji is up:

1. Wardi
2. Mauvaka
3. Atonio
4. Verhaeghe
5. Willemse
6. Cros
7. Cretin
8. Alldritt

9. Lucu
10. Hastoy
11. Moefana
12. Danty
13. Vincent
14. Bielle-Biarrey
15 Jaminet

Bench
16. Bourgarit
17. Gros
18. Laclayat
19. Chalureau
20.  Flament
21. Macalou
22  Serin
23. Jalibert

First start for Atonio, Mauvaka, Wardi and Willemse. More carrying power from the start and better scrum.

Cros also makes a first appearance, hopefully fully recovered from his leg strain as he is their best, and only genuine IMO, openside flanker, even if he is wearing 6.

Laclayat, the small (5 ft 9) but mighty (125kg), prop comes back into the squad. He is a pocket rocket of a tighthead prop, has some really serious wheels for a front row.

Wonder if he can do a job at loosehead? If Baille doesn't make it might he slot in on the left side?

Will Hastoy be a steady presence in the 10 shirt? He is a less flamboyant player than Jalibert but probably a better defender and kicker from hand. Showed in the champions cup final he can stay calm under pressure.

He wont make the impact off the bench that Jalibert brings with his running game, so perhaps Hastoy will start and Jalibert will finish games? Will be interesting to see how this team goes against a resurgent Fiji.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 19 Aug 2023, 8:58 pm

Fiji look alright so far.

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Post by sensisball Sat 19 Aug 2023, 11:50 pm

A solid win for France, 34 -17. Excellent exits from their 22 with Lucu and Hastoy kicking well. Jaminet looked  like the player who excelled during France’s grand slam year. He kicked almost all his goals, was secure under the high ball and looked threatening in attack. Danty was his usual robust self, carrying well and turning over ball on a few occasions. Vincent had a bit of a shaky start getting stripped of the ball on two carries in the first half. However, he became more dominant in attack as the game wore on, and got his own back by stripping the ball off a Fijian midfielder late on.

Young Bielle-Biarrey had another excellent game, showing his great pace in attack and defended solidly. On the other wing Moefana also had a few dangerous carries and was solid in defence.

In the forwards, the front row scrummed well with Mauvaka and Atonio as willing ball carriers. In the second row Willemse had a solid, if unspectacular game, making some hard yards. Verhaeghe was a nuisance in the lineout all night and carried well for a relative bean pole.

In the back row Cros made a welcome return to action for the first time in  this series of matches and played well. His work rate around the ball and excellent chop tackling allowed the likes of Danty and Alldritt to secure turn overs. Cretin also showed up well, turning over or disrupting several Fiji lineouts. Was fit enough to keep up with Serin when he broke round the front of a lineout around the 60-minute mark. Alldritt was good without being near his best, still carried hard and turned over a few balls.

The bench was prominent with Serin making a lovely break shortly after coming on and Macalou , who replaced Cros, intercepted a loose Fiji pass from a lineout to saunter in from 30 metres for a well taken try.

Flament and Chalureau added impact in the second row. Jalibert played the last 20 and survived unscathed and had a few nice touches.

The only subs who struggled a bit were the props. Both got pinged at separate scrums for either losing a bind or hinging. Gros was probably more concerning as he will need to be the bench loosehead until (or if) Baille is available.

Fiji looked decent but lacking in time together, which is understandable. Too many one our runner plays that France were able to soak up, although the pick and go did yield a couple of tries for the forwards. Their New Zealand born 10 looked like a tidy player and will hopefully be able to pull more strings in attack with a few more weeks training together. Botia and Radrandra were generally well bottled up by the French but showed flashes of their danger here and there.

Galthie will announce his 33 on Monday. I’m going to have a stab at a final 33. I have assumed that Baille, Bamba, Taofifenua and Jelonch will be available towards the end of the group stages:

Forwards (19):  

Loosehead Props:  Cyril Baille, Reda Wardi, Jean-Baptiste Gros

Tighthead props: Uini Atonio, Dorian Aldegheri, Demba Bamba

Hookers:  Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Pierre Bourgarit

Second rows:  Cameron Woki, Thibeaud Flament, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse


Back Rows:  Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Francois Cros, Sekou Macalou, Dylan Cretin, Anthony Jelonch

Backs (14):
Scrum-halfs:  Antoine Dupont, Maxime Lucu, Baptiste Serin.

Fly-halfs:   Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Hastoy.

Centres:  Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Yoram Moefana, Arthur Vincent

Wingers/ Fullbacks:  Damien Penaud, Gabin Villière, Thomas Ramos, Melvyn Jaminet, Louis Bielle-Biarrey.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 20 Aug 2023, 7:06 pm

France have been decent enough but also look a bit meh, considering a lot of people have them as favourites. NZ will beat them in the group stage.

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Post by sensisball Sun 20 Aug 2023, 7:16 pm

Mikey
You could be right, although losing to AB' s means they will play either Ireland or the Boks in the QF, assuming they can beat Italy.
If they win they will still play either Ireland or the Boks in the QF.
Certainly would dent their campaign if they were convincingly beaten by the blackness but don't see that happening. A close victory, or defeat, is the most likely outcome.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 20 Aug 2023, 7:23 pm

I don't think All Blacks will pummel France but they are looking much better this season. Their next game is against the Boks, that will tell us more. It's crazy that those 4 are on the same side of the draw in the KO stages.

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Post by sensisball Sun 20 Aug 2023, 8:00 pm

Think both teams will box clever with a mixed selection for both sides. Not sure how much we will learn from the Twickers game about their respective full strength sides.
At least that game will definitely happen. There are rumours, on social media obvs, that the France Oz match may not happen due to an alleged financial dispute. Something about Mr clean, aka Bernard Laporte, giving a verbal assurance about additional monies (1 million dollars?) being paid to the Australian union. If the dosh doesn't appear then there will a no show from Eddie and his band of merry boys, sorry I meant men, apparently.
It's been lively already, and we are still 3 weeks out


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Post by sensisball Mon 21 Aug 2023, 2:47 pm

France 33 is out, and my selection was out by 3 players:

Falatea instead of Bamba at tight head. Maybe Bamba's ankle injury will keep him out for a few weeks, along with Baille's rehab would stretch prop resources too much?

Boudehent instead of Cretin - lose lineout prowess and pace but gain in carrying and tackling power and dog around the ruck.

Couilloud instead of Serin - more physicality and a quicker passing game over a more rounded game management from Serin

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Post by sensisball Thu 24 Aug 2023, 12:25 pm

Team up for Wallabies match.
Oh dear, poor old Eddie will need to get the excuses in early.

France pretty much at full strength, apart from at loosehead.

Romain Taofifenua, first outing since recovering from a hamstring pull, on the bench along with his brother Sebastain Taofifenua,  a loosehead (in the back up squad).

Ramos covers 10 again with Jaminet, after a good outing last week, as the full back sub.


1. Gros
2. Marchant
3. Atonio
4. Flament
5. Willemse
6. Cros
7. Ollivon
8. Alldritt

9. Dupont
10. Jalibert
11. Villiere
12. Danty
13. Fickou
14. Penaud
15 Ramos

Bench
16. Mauvaka
17. S. Taofifenua
18. Aldegheri
19. R. Taofifenua
20. Woki
21. Boudehent
22  Couilloud
23.  Jaminet

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Post by sensisball Fri 25 Aug 2023, 11:51 am

Australia team for France:

1-Angus Bell
2-David Porecki
3-Taniela Tupou
4-Richie Arnold
5-Will Skelton
6-Tom Hooper
7-Fraser McReight
8-Rob Valetini


9-Tate McDermott
10-Carter Gordon
11-Suliasi Vunivalu
12-Lalakai Foketi
13-Jordan Petaia
14-Mark Nawaqanitawase
15-Andrew Kellaway
Bench:
16-Matt Faessler, 17-Blake Schoupp, 18-Zane Nonggorr, 19-Matt Philip, 20-Rob Leota, 21-Langi Gleeson, 22-Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 23-Ben Donaldson.

Starting pack looks reasonably solid, but how long can Tupou last, 40 minutes or maybe 50?

Really young bench, with loosehead prop and scrumhalf to make their debuts for Oz.

Vunivalu up against Penaud should be another "interesting" introduction to top level union for the former NRL star.

Should be a good game.

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Post by sensisball Mon 28 Aug 2023, 12:01 am

Another comfortable win for France. Built a lead through a well taken try from Danty and several penalty kicks from Ramos in the first half.
Australia scored a nice try after Danty's effort but struggled to trouble the scoreboard after that. That was mainly due to Gordon's wayward boot plus a few handling errors. Vunivalu was a bit unlucky to see yellow for killing the ball at a promising French ruck inside the Oz 22. He was pushed over by a couple of his own players.
Australia started the second half brightly but didnt score. France scored a brace through a pinpoint kick from Dupont to the right wing for Penaud to score his easiest ever try.
A few minutes later Jalibert kicked to the left corner for Villiere to gather and score under the pressure of a double tackle.
McReight got another try for the visitors after some good work from Gordon.

Penaud then broke down the right fed by a long pass from Fickou, after the Oz defence got horribly narrow, chipped ahead, regathered and scored under the posts.
Final try came from Australia, Gordon spotted space in the backfield, put up a high ball for Vunivalu to chase, jump, catch and score a well taken try. He actually had a strong game, especially under an attacking high ball and was a handful with the ball.

Although Australia were well beaten there were quite a few positives. The starting scrum went well, Tupou got the better of Gros and earnt a few scrum penalties. Gordon mixed up his game well with a selection of well chosen passes and kicks in behind France's rush defense. They also kept playing to the final whistle scoring after 75 minutes. Vunivalu could prove to be a useful weapon if fed with a high ball or cross field kicks.

However, too many promising attacks went begging because of handling errors.
The penalty count near their 22 was too high, allowing Ramos to build a good lead. The lineout was flaky and the defence got caught narrow on more than one occasion.

There were some shoots for Eddie to hang onto in that defeat and he will certainly be hitting the bottle less hard than Borthwick.

Only slight injury concern for France was that Dupont got a knock being tackled just before the end of the first half and he stayed down on one knee for a moment or two. You could almost hear an intake of breath from the crowd but he seemed fine, after a chat with a medic, and played on into the second half.

Main concern for France was that Gros struggled, again, in the scrum. French fans can only hope that Wardi was simply being rested after having played a part in the other 3 games, which is highly likely.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 02 Sep 2023, 6:42 am

Reading Willemse is a doubt for the opener against NZ, and possible the tournament. France are having a rotten run with injuries.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 02 Sep 2023, 7:19 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Reading Willemse is a doubt for the opener against NZ, and possible the tournament. France are having a rotten run with injuries.

Danty a doubt for the NZ game as well. No luck at all for them so far.

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Post by sensisball Sat 02 Sep 2023, 11:22 am

Apparently it's curtains for Willemse for the whole tournament, after damaging a quad muscle.

Chalureau, his Montpellier team mate, is called up from the standby squad.

He is a decent international second row but nowhere as dominant a ball carrier as Willemse.
Romain Taofifaneau is almost as good a carrier as Willemse, just a bit less mobile.
But the bench will definitely suffer with Chalureau as the replacement heavy lock.

Advantage swings back to the AB's for the opener.
They are missing Lomax and Rettaliçk, but Les Bleus are missing Baille, Willemse, Jelonch, Ntamack and Danty.

5 starters from the Grand slam squad.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 02 Sep 2023, 1:31 pm

Willemse will be a loss off the bench but Flament and Woki do make a better lock combination for that pack.

Jelonch, Ntamack and Willemse can all be replaced thanks to the impressive depth France have. The loss of Danty is massive though, there are other centres available but none with the same ability on the gain line. Baille is a huge loss as well, Gros is a great back up but when the ABs are looking a little iffy in the front row you want to be able to create 80 mins of player so it's not a time to be missing a world class prop.

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Post by sensisball Sat 02 Sep 2023, 2:02 pm

Think Wardi will be the starting loosehead. A better scrummager than Gros.


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Post by sensisball Sat 02 Sep 2023, 2:07 pm

Only problem playing Woki and Flament is the scrum suffers. Flament is 120 ish Kg and Willemse is around 135 Kg.
Actually think Wardi is a better scrummager than Baille and will probably put the AB' s scrum under huge pressure.

I agree that Danty is irreplaceable. Not sure if they will go with Moefana at 12 with Fickou at 13, or slide Fickou to 12 and play Vincent at 13.
Fickou is incredibly versatile and was happy playing 12 with Vakatawa outside him.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 02 Sep 2023, 3:15 pm

Duplicate error


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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 02 Sep 2023, 3:19 pm

Wardi might be a good choice to turn the screw at scrum time particularly if it means Woki and Flament can work at lock. Strengthens the French lineout and ability round the park to have Flament over Willemse. Willemse is great for the tighter aspects but against most sides there's enough physicality up front for France to manage without and he then makes a good impact off the bench against tired opposition. France will have to manage without out that impact which will be a blow.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 02 Sep 2023, 6:59 pm

Willemse is a big loss. I think Woki and Flament is their starting lock pairing now but having a bench option who isn't only a similar standard player to Flament but also a completely different type of second row is such an asset tactically.

Such a shame on the back of Ntamack's injury.

Danty will be a massive blow for the NZ game but should be available later in the tournament. I'd guess they'll go Fickou and Vincent. Moefana is a cracking 12 but with the ABs basically using 3 playmakers now I'd guess they might shift their defensive general in Fickou to 12 and get Vincent in as another terrific defender in the 13 channel.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 03 Sep 2023, 4:04 pm

Disquiet over Bastien Chalureau's inclusion in sone quarters.

https://www.planetrugby.com/news/calls-grow-for-convicted-racist-to-be-dropped-from-frances-world-cup-squad

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Post by sensisball Sun 03 Sep 2023, 4:58 pm

Seems that this episode has flown under the radar until now - when he is actually selected.
I hope that Galthie and the rest of the management team have looked at the incident and talked it through with Chalureau and the squad and been satisfied that it's not going to cause an issue with a squad containing several players of African descent in it.

If this hasn't been looked at then it could all blow up via social media and possibly the wider press making an already difficult buildup even more so.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 04 Sep 2023, 10:21 am

Gathie : For four years, racism has had no place in our team, it has no place in rugby. Integrity is a fundamental value of our team and our sport. Bastien has informed us of this affair and firmly and formally denies the allegations. Proceedings are underway.”


Talk about a Needless distraction.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 06 Sep 2023, 10:39 am

Caleb Muntz is out for Fiji for the entirety of the RWC, a shame as he was key to their progression over the last few months.

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 06 Sep 2023, 11:26 am

Chalureau is not in the 23 for NZ (don't think he was expected to be in it).

https://twitter.com/rugbyworldcup/status/1699363577730105456

Wardi
Marchand
Atonio
Woki
Flament
Cros
Ollivon
Alldritt

Dupont
Jalibert
Villiere
Moefana
Fickou
Penaud
Ramos

Mauvaka, Gros, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Boudehent, Lucu, Vincent, Jaminet

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Post by sensisball Wed 06 Sep 2023, 3:26 pm

After spending most of the last 4 years with a 6,2 bench  France go 5,3 with only a single lock on the bench.
Wardi will ask questions of the AB's scrum but will the lack of bulk, with Flament instead of the injured Willemse, count against les Bleus getting scrum dominance?

Interesting bench, looks like Vincent will bring pace to 13 with Fickou sliding in to 12 once Moefana has done his shift.

Mauvaka, Taofifienua and Boudehent will bring carrying power in the final quarter with Jaminet allowing Ramos to move up to 10, if required.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 06 Sep 2023, 3:39 pm

It's a bit of a risk having Ramos as the back up 10. Against the ABs and their dual playmakers you don't want to he without a specialist 10. I suppose Dupont could move to 10 with Lucu to 9 but it's far from ideal, especially when Hastoy the European Cup winning flyhalf will be watching from the stands.

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Post by sensisball Wed 06 Sep 2023, 5:17 pm

Ramos did win the T 14 final playing at 10 two years back, but yea it's still a risk.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 06 Sep 2023, 5:42 pm

Very excited for this world cup however, must say its disappointing how hard it is proving to get flights or any form of transport to Paris for any sort of reasonable price. I have had tickets for over two years and have been on the look out for over a year and it hasnt been possible to get to the Ireland v Scotland game for under €500. For tbe SA game I have had to go to Brussels and gef the train which also wasnt cheap. At least I probably wont have to worry about French air traffic controllers.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 06 Sep 2023, 7:21 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Caleb Muntz is out for Fiji for the entirety of the RWC, a shame as he was key to their progression over the last few months.
This is such a shame. I reckon Lomani and Muntz was the best halfback pairing I've seen for Fiji. Even with limited time together I'd say they just pip Mosese Rauluni and Nicky Little. Muntz has looked to the manor born.

It's a huge blow to a Fiji side that were shaping up in a really fun way. Probably the only injury they couldn't cover as well. Matavesi is integral too but the two Drua hookers are talented. Lomani's cover is a way off his class but still very talented.

Teti Tela is by no means a poor player. But it's a big drop from what Muntz has added.

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Post by sensisball Fri 08 Sep 2023, 11:25 pm

Comfortable win for France in the end. Marchant' s early departure looked a bit worrying. Fingers crossed they haven't lost another world class player.
NZ' s missing players affected them more than France's s injuries.

Strange game as the heat meant both teams tried to keep the ball in the opposition half. Moanga and Barrett kicked really well in the first 40, setting up a try for  Talea with an excellent crossfield kick with less than 2 minutes on the clock.

But the French pack gradually got on top and the AB' s found it harder and harder to build any pressure. They gave away too many kickable penalties and Ramos duly racked up the points for France to lead 9, 8 at the break .

France attacked brightly at the start of the second half only to concede a penalty. The Blackness then scored another wide out try through Talea again to lead 13, to 9..

After that it was pretty much all France. Jordan was yellow carded for hitting Ramos in the air, but Les Bleus only scored 3 points in the 10 minute card time.

However the AB' s pack had well and truly wilted and Jalibert sensed that now was the time to pull the trigger, putting Penaud in for a lovely try in the right corner.

Jaminet came on for Ramos and Lucu, who had replaced superman, spotted space in the backfield.

A deft kick bounced in front of Moanga and straight into the arms of a leaping Jaminet who plucked the ball out of the air and dotting down for a try.

After a shaky start, France dominated up front and apart from two good moves for their  tries the AB' s looked fairly toothless.

The late injury to Cane will definitely have affected  their prep but they desperately need a fully fit Lomax, Frizell, Jordy B and Rettaliçk to be ready for their QF if they are to have any chance against Ireland or South Africa, or ,who knows, Scotland?

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Post by RDW Sat 09 Sep 2023, 12:31 am

sensisball wrote:Comfortable win for France in the end. Marchant' s early departure looked a bit worrying. Fingers crossed they haven't lost another world class player.
NZ' s missing players affected them more than France's s injuries.

Strange game as the heat meant both teams tried to keep the ball in the opposition half. Moanga and Barrett kicked really well in the first 40, setting up a try for  Talea with an excellent crossfield kick with less than 2 minutes on the clock.

But the French pack gradually got on top and the AB' s found it harder and harder to build any pressure. They gave away too many kickable penalties and Ramos duly racked up the points for France to lead 9, 8 at the break .

France attacked brightly at the start of the second half only to concede a penalty. The Blackness then scored another wide out try through Talea again to lead 13, to 9..

After that it was pretty much all France. Jordan was yellow carded for hitting Ramos in the air, but Les Bleus only scored 3 points in the 10 minute card time.

However the AB' s pack had well and truly wilted and Jalibert sensed that now was the time to pull the trigger, putting Penaud in for a lovely try in the right corner.

Jaminet came on for Ramos and Lucu, who had replaced superman, spotted space in the backfield.

A deft kick bounced in front of Moanga and straight into the arms of a leaping Jaminet who plucked the ball out of the air and dotting down for a try.

After a shaky start, France dominated up front and apart from two good moves for their  tries the AB' s looked fairly toothless.

The late injury to Cane will definitely have affected  their prep but they desperately need a fully fit Lomax, Frizell, Jordy B and Rettaliçk to be ready for their QF if they are to have any chance against Ireland or South Africa, or ,who knows, Scotland?

Good summary.

You're right that the ABs really missed some key forwards. They're not going to progress far in this tournament with the pack and replacements they had out against France. Some really sloppy play by the ABs who were very loose at times when they just needed to hoof it away. ABs were leading at one point but passing it around in their 22 - don't get that.


Slightly underwhelming game after all the hype really, but France will be happy with the win. Ultimately won't make much difference though given the route to the semis for each team.

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Post by sensisball Sat 09 Sep 2023, 11:44 pm

Julien Marchant sustained a hamstring injury during Friday's s win over the All Blacks.

He will definitely be unavailable for the game against Uruguay on Thursday. Further medical tests this week will determine if he can make it back in time for the knock out stages of the tournament.

If he needs to be replaced then the Castres hooker, Gaiten Barlot, is next in line for a call up to the squad. He played in the 2021 tour of Australia and in the win against the All Blacks, as Marchant was unavailable due to injury, so he a quality operator.
Not as powerful as Marchant but a quick and dynamic hooker none the less.

However, it will be a huge loss for France if Marchant has to leave the squad.

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Post by sensisball Tue 12 Sep 2023, 6:13 pm

France team for Uruguay. Big news is Anthony Jelonch is starting as captain, at 8. Scarily powerful back row for the South Americans to handle.

Also, back to a 6-2 bench split


1. Jean-Baptiste Gros
2. Pierre Bourgarit
3.Dorian Aldegheri
4. Cameron Woki
5. Romain Taofifenua
6. Paul Boudehent
7. Sekou Macalou
8. Anthony Jelonch (C)

9. Maxime Lucu
10. Antoine Hastoy
11.Gabin Villière
12. Yoram Moefana
13. Arthur Vincent
14. Louis Bielle-Biarrey
15. Melvyn Jaminet

Bench (6/2 split):
16. Peato Mauvaka ,17.  Reda Wardi, 18.  Sipili Falatea, 19. Bastien Chalureau,
20.Thibaut Flament , 21. Francois Cros  22. Baptiste Couilloud,23. Thomas Ramos,

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 13 Sep 2023, 2:59 am

Very scary that, fair play. Poor Uruguay

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Post by BigGee Thu 14 Sep 2023, 8:34 pm

That was a pretty clear shoulder to the head with no wrap

RC I would say, but in this WC who knows?

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Sep 2023, 9:08 pm

BigGee wrote:That was a pretty clear shoulder to the head with no wrap

RC I would say, but in this WC who knows?
Agree, we were talking this on the 'other teams' thread. No doubts in my mind this was a straight red. No arms regardless of the height of the ball carrier.

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Post by Heaf Thu 14 Sep 2023, 10:01 pm

So are we still sure they haven't got it in for England? Struggling to understand how Curry's challenge was worse than that ...

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