Galthie's long-term home World Cup goal
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: New France coach Fabien Galthie said his squad for the upcoming Six Nations, which includes 19 uncapped players, was assembled with a view towards the World Cup on home soil in 2023.
Former Les Bleus captain Galthie, 50, who took over from Jacques Brunel after last year’s World Cup in Japan, has named a very inexperienced 42-man outfit.
Forward Bernard le Roux is the only player over 30 while centre Gael Fickou is the only man with more than 51 caps.
“We’re trying to put together a team for the long-term. We counted that we have 36 matches, excluding warm-up Tests, between the last World Cup and the next one,” said Galthie.
“On average, it’s less than 10 caps among the forwards as it is among the backs. 50 caps is around the number for the idea of a competitive side at the highest level. It’s light, even really light, we’re aware of that,” he added.
🏆 Voici les 42 joueurs retenus pour préparer le Tournoi des #SixNations 2020 !
Les Bleus débutent leur préparation à Nice le 19 Janvier et vous donnent rendez-vous le dimanche 2 février au Stade de France contre l’Angleterre à 16h !#NeFaisonsXV #XVdeFrance pic.twitter.com/a8AJ4PjSh9
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) January 8, 2020
There are seven junior world champions in the set-up including influential Toulon flyhalf Louis Carbonel, the impressive ball-carrying prop Jean-Baptiste Gros and powerful No.8 Cameron Woki who has scored twice in 12 matches for Bordeaux-Begles this season.
Alongside Woki is new skipper Charles Ollivon who has just 11 Test appearances to his name.
Ollivon’s international career has been restricted after three shoulder injuries in the space of two years and says he will be able to lean on eight of his club teammates and those who featured with him at last year’s World Cup.
“There are quite a lot of Toulon players who I know well so certainly even if there will be new faces I don’t know, there will be a lot of guys who I do know,” he told AFP.
“There are plenty of guys who I’ve spent a lot of time with in competition. I can build something with them.”
Galthie and Ollivon begin their tenures by hosting England on February 2 and the former France scrumhalf said he had an inkling about who would feature against Eddie Jones’ World Cup runners-up.
“We have an idea about the 28 who we are going to keep and it’s true that we have an approximate idea about our starting line-up,” he said.
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