The second line Céline Ferer was named captain of the XV of France women in the absence of Gaëlle Hermet, spared, for the opening match of the World Cup against South Africa, Saturday in Auckland, where the septiste Joanna Grisez will release his first selection. Les Bleues, paid into pool C, will compete on Saturday (03:15 French hours) at Eden Park their first match, which will kick off in front of at least 30,000 spectators the Women’s World Cup, scheduled for 2021 but postponed for a year due to Covid-19.
Céline Ferer (54 caps), associated in the second row with Madoussou Fall (18 caps), has “an important place in the group, an aura“Said coach-selection Thomas Darracq on Wednesday, announcing his composition by videoconference from Auckland. She combines “a sweet balance between this good mood, this enthusiasm outside, and on the field, a ferocity and a strong commitment which are the two ingredients on which I ask (the players) to rely on for this first match“, added the coach of the French.
Hermet (45 caps), usual captain, although again “operational” After a knee injury, does not appear in the group, as well as another third line, Julie Annery (26 caps.), embarrassed by a “little muscle alert“. The hooker Agathe Sochat (37 sel.), traditional understudy in the captaincy of Hermet, was placed on the bench during this first match, for which the Bleues will have to achieve a “huge performance“Darracq launched.
Joanna Grisez, the surprise of the list of 32 after her bronze medal obtained at the beginning of September at the World Sevens, will be established on the wing for her first with the XV of France. “Joanna integrated quickly, she is very hardworking (…) we worked hard with all the staff to support her“Darracq explained.
The first line, which will have a hard time dealing with reputedly very dense South African forwards, is made up of props Annaëlle Deshaye (35 sel.) and Clara Joyeux (32 sel.) and hooker Laure Touyé (22 sel. ). In the third row are the young Charlotte Escudéro (22 years old, 1 cap) and the experienced Romane Ménager (50 caps) and Marjorie Mayans (48 caps), whose last match with the Blue dates back more than a year. .
The hinge is made up of scrum half Laure Sansus (30 caps), best player of the Six Nations Tournament and for which this World Cup is the last competition, and Caroline Drouin (25 caps) at the opening. Finally, centers Maëlle Filopon (16 caps) and Gabrielle Vernier (27 caps) will be framed on the wing by Grisez and Émilie Boulard (13 caps), while the back has been entrusted to Chloé Jacquet (10 caps). .), whose kicking game can be very useful.
These players embody both “speed and creativityspecific to the current women’s game, while displaying “athletic qualities” as well as “aerial abilities and winning duels“, underlined Thomas Darracq.
Composition of the French team:
Jacquet – Grisez, Filopon, Vernier, Boulard – (o) Drouin, (m) Sansus – Mayans, R. Ménager, Escudero – Fall, Ferer (cap.) – Joyeux, Touyé, Deshaye
Substitutes: Sochat, Lindelauf, Khalfaoui, Feleu, Gros, Bourdon, Queyroi, Llorens