- Calendar, in Pool A
September 8: France – New Zealand at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis (at 9:15 p.m., on TF1)
September 14: France-Uruguay, at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, in Lille (9 p.m., on TF1)
September 21: France-Namibia, at the Stade-Vélodrome, in Marseille (9 p.m., on France 2)
October 6: France-Italy, at Groupama Stadium, in Lyon (9 p.m., on TF1)
The team’s nickname
Blues. At the beginning of their history, the players of the XV of France played in royal blue jackets, white pants and red socks, and were therefore logically called “the Tricolors”. Before a single color taken from the French flag is essential: blue. At the origin of the nickname which stuck to the skin of the players with the jersey struck by the rooster.
- Their best performance
Three times, the France team has reached the final of the World Cup. And on three occasions, the Blues have failed to conquer the Webb Ellis Cup. In 1987, during the first edition of the World Cup, they came across a wall, the All Blacks, on their New Zealand lands. Twelve years later, in 1999, Fabien Galthié’s teammates defeated the All Blacks in the semi-finals, but failed against Australia in the final. And in 2011, the band of “dirty kids” by Marc Lievremont finishes just one point behind the All Blacks.
Since he took charge of the destiny of the Blues, Fabien Galthié has inscribed, on a wall of the Marcoussis National Rugby Center (Essonne), an “arrow of time”, which targets nothing other than October 28 , day of the World Cup final at home. After having “relearned to win”, having forged a collective and having won a first trophy after a decade of scarcity, the French aspire to win – finally – the World Cup. But before dreaming of crowning at home, they will have to dismiss New Zealand in the group stage, then probably Ireland or South Africa in the quarter-finals.
The forwards : Dorian Aldegheri, Grégory Alldritt, Uini Atonio, Cyril Baille, Paul Boudehent, Pierre Bourgarit, Bastien Chalureau, François Cros, Sipili Falatea, Thibaud Flament, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Anthony Jelonch, Sekou Macalou, Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Charles Ollivon , Romain Taofifénua, Reda Wardi, Cameron Woki.
The retarded guys : Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Baptiste Couilloud, Jonathan Danty, Antoine Dupont (captain), Gaël Fickou, Antoine Hastoy, Matthieu Jalibert, Melvyn Jaminet, Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos, Gabin Villière, Arthur Vincent.
Thomas Ramos has struggled somewhat to conquer its place in the XV of Fabien Galthié. Too versatile, perhaps, to be pegged to a fixed post. The fact remains that after having successively seen Anthony Bouthier, Brice Dulin and Melvyn Jaminet p in front of him, the Tarnais ended up “go get the jersey”, as the coach likes to repeat. Official gunner of the Blues for a year – and of clockwork regularity – the back of the Toulouse Stadium, who was on the trip to Japan in 2019, will be the conductor in the background. And will lend a hand at the opening if needed, in the absence of Romain Ntamack – injured and forfeited. The latest addition to the backbone of the French, who runs from hooker Julien Marchand to center Gaël Fickou via third line Grégory Alldritt and scrum half and captain Antoine Dupont, Thomas Ramos should show off his mastery during the World Cup.
- Where to see them practice
The XV of France will start its competition in the Paris suburbs and will train at the Parc stadium in Rueil-Malmaison (Hauts-de-Seine). The Blues will then put their suitcases in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), where they will train at the Georges-Carconne stadium.
- The most “French” of the team
He may be born in the land of the long white cloud and be of Fijian origin, Uini Atonio has slipped into the – wide, as far as he is concerned – tricolor rugby mould. Landed in 2011 in La Rochelle, the colossal right pillar (1.96 m for 145 kg) quickly made a place for himself with the Blues. The one who told, in 2014, ” have learned There Marseillaise on Youtube “, was introduced to French by its maritime partners, who flourished its language of expressions, sometimes daring, from Ovalie. “Winnie the Pooh” then appeared in front of the journalists “with some cool language elements”recalled his teammate Romain Sazy in 2015 has Release. Since then, the 33-year-old has grown in importance in the club as well as in the France team and has firmly established himself in France, to the point of releasing a beer in his name with a few ociates from La Rochelle.
- The rugby expression that suits them well
“Put the church back in the middle of the village” : if by chance the modest Namibia opens the scoring against the Blues, then prances in the lead, the XV of France will need to get out the cadastre to restore some semblance of order in the game. By taking over the reins of the game, the team will put the church back in its rightful place, in the heart of the village. Another way of saying everything will be alright.