All Blacks win gives France 'hope' for Six Nations success
SPOTLIGHT: France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Tuesday that November’s win over New Zealand gives his side “hope” of winning a title.
Les Bleus’ next fixture after claiming a first success over the All Blacks since 2009 will be hosting Italy on February 6 in their Six Nations opener.
Galthie’s men are eyeing a first trophy since winning the competition in 2010.
“This match against the All Blacks counts as one of the big victories. It gave us hope,” Galthie said after holding a training session with fifth-tier club Tournon-Tain.
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“Right now, we’re in a position to win a title and we wish, we want to win. It’s not an aim.
“We’ll give ourselves the means to do so. But then you have to play the matches,” he added.
Galthie will name his squad for the competition a week before a training camp near Marseille before the Six Nations.
The former France captain said he was looking at the likes of uncapped second-tier scrumhalf Leo Coly, who has scored eight tries in 12 appearances for Mont-de-Marsan this season as well as Lyon’s in-form 23-year-old flyhalf Leo Berdeu.
“Every Monday we [the coaching staff] meet to make a squad,” Galthie said.
“In December, two weeks after the game against the All Blacks we made a squad of 75 players, five to six players by position. There were new players there,” he added.
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France will travel to Japan in June for matches before November Tests against World Cup winners South Africa, Australia and an unnamed tier-two nation.
Galthie said his outfit need to improve their world ranking of fifth to have a chance of lifting the Webb Ellis trophy on home soil in less than two years’ time.
“The choice is to get to 2023 with a team which has a common experience and consistency,” Galthie said.
“In front of us are Ireland, England, the All Blacks and South Africa. What’s important is that, usually, you have to be among the top three to be competitive at a World Cup,” he added.