The French teams are back this week, as part of the qualifications for the European Championships in Malmö (Sweden, September 10-17). To qualify, they will have to finish in the first two teams of a pool of three, after four matches (round trip).
The Blues, accompanied by Serbia and England, begin their campaign this Tuesday evening, in Belgrade (Serbia). Deprived of Alexis Lebrun, plagued by tendinitis in his knees and unavailable in competition until the beginning of March, the France team will field Simon Gauzy, Félix Lebrun, Can Akkuzu and Jules Rolland. “It is absolutely necessary to win this meeting, it is for this reason that I have selected the best possible team”, explains Patrick Chila, the captain of the Blues. The Serbs have indeed already lost their meeting against England (2-3) Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford.
Double confrontation Sunday in Montpellier
Then retained by his club in Ochsenhausen (Germany), Simon Gauzy will not take part in the following meetings, Friday in Crawley (England) and Sunday in Montpellier (France will host Serbia on March 21). The Blues will also find their female counterparts in the Hérault, for a double confrontation at the FDI Stadium from 5.30 p.m.
Les Bleues, for their part, had started these qualifications perfectly, winning against Slovakia November 8 in Saint-Denis (3-0). They will face the Slovaks again on Friday in Bratislava, then receive the Netherlands, a priori the weakest team in the group, on Sunday.
The French women’s team, led by Ludovic Remy, will be made up of Camille and Charlotte Lutz, Jianan Yuan and Prithika Pavade on Friday. Pauline Chasselin and Océane Guisnel will be able to join the team on Sunday.