France's to-do list for wounded All Blacks
REACTION: France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Sunday his side cannot “copy Ireland” if they hope to beat New Zealand next weekend.
The All Blacks head to Paris in a dress rehearsal for the 2023 Rugby World Cup’s opening game after losing 20-29 in Dublin on Saturday as wing Sevu Reece was denied a second-half try by the video referee.
“Ireland have their own rugby, their own game. We can’t copy Ireland. We haven’t got the same players nor the same rugby as them,” Galthie told reporters after Sunday’s 41-15 win over Georgia.
“They were able to play a fantastic match. There’s no superlative available to describe their performance.
“Despite that, the result was in the balance before a try was turned down by the referee decision for a forward pass. It tells us a lot about Saturday’s opponents,” he added.
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Hooker Julien Marchand is a doubt for next weekend after he left the field in Bordeaux just before the interval with a rib injury.
Marchand told France assistant coach William Servat “it’s dead” as he was replaced by Peato Mauvaka.
“He’s gone to do tests. We will know more on Monday. It’s with his cartilage and we’ll see how he recovers,” Galthie said.
“We preferred not to take a risk,” he added.
Galthie started two flyhalves with Matthieu Jalibert in the No. 10 shirt and Romain Ntamack moving to centre due to injuries to Virimi Vakatawa and Arthur Vincent.
The pair also featured in those positions in last Saturday’s win over Argentina but Ntamack finished this weekend’s game against the Lelos at outside-half and Jalibert at fullback.
“We will take time to reflect. It was the choice we were looking at during the two first games. You will have seen we made changes in our strategy,” Galthie said.
“We have enough people to make the right decision ahead of next Saturday.
“We consider him [Ntamack] as a very good player if he’s flyhalf or 12. Like Matthieu Jalibert, who we consider as a very good player. If he plays outside-half or 15,” he added.
Bordeaux-Begles’ 23-year-old back-row Cameron Woki made his first start at lock after finishing July’s second Test win over Australia in the position alongside Romain Taofifenua.
“We have already worked like that. We’ve gone a bit further now as we have some more time,” Galthie said.
“Cameron is a very good player at the lineout despite his young age. He leads the lineouts.
“He had a hybrid profile which makes me think about other second rows who started their career at back-row.”