Wed 29 Jun 2022 | 07:38

'A big moment of pride' for France captain

'A big moment of pride' for France captain
Wed 29 Jun 2022 | 07:38
'A big moment of pride' for France captain
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NEWS: France captain Charles Ollivon said on Wednesday his focus is on this weekend’s first Test with Japan and not returning as skipper.

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Ollivon, 29, had been replaced as French captain by flank Anthony Jelonch and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont after the Toulon flank suffered a knee injury in June 2021.

Les Bleus, who won the Six Nations Grand Slam this year, face the Brave Blossoms, ranked 10th in the world, on Saturday before heading to Tokyo on July 9.

“It’s a big moment of pride to be here, to share the moment with mates,” Ollivon told AFP.

“But the main thing is the weekend’s match. Everyone’s on the same page, everyone works well together, we’re enjoying being together,” he added.

World player of year Dupont and flank Jelonch are among a host of first-choice players rested by head coach Fabien Galthie.

Despite Galthie having 17 uncapped members in his tour party, Ollivon is able to lean on the likes of half-back Maxime Lucu and Matthieu Jalibert as well as centre Virimi Vakatawa and Damian Penaud for advice.

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“There are still experienced players here,” Ollivon said.

“Everyone brings their vision, and it’s a good thing,” he added.

The temperature this weekend is set to reach 35 degrees celsius with humidity of 72 percentĀ  in the central city, which hosted three games at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

“We were talking with the players on the training pitch, it’s sunny, the pitches are clean, it makes you want to play,” Ollivon said.

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“But we sweat a lot. We’ll get back to basics to start with and then we’ll see if we can open up play a bit,” he added.

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