The coach of the Blues revealed his plans for the preparation for the World Cup: a group of 42 evolving players, recovery times, an end of preparation with the family. Explanations.
Special envoy to Montgesty (Hautes-Pyrénées)
There is his father, Jean-Noël, mayor of this small town in the Lot of 320 inhabitants. There are also a few cousins and long-term friends. Around a tent erected behind the church of Montgesty for a buffet. All proud of the child of the village. Who brought his staff and attracted journalists from France and Navarre for an unprecedented agitation. This Tuesday, Fabien Galthié held his press conference to launch the World Cup in his native Quercy. Where, already, he had organized his first, in November 2019, as coach of the XV of France. “I was looking for a calm and serene place to worktells the star of the day at Figaro. When I came back from the World Cup in Japan, I came to Montgesty and, while walking with my father, I said to myself ”but it’s here!”. It’s perfect here, we don’t disturb anyone, we’re quiet, it’s not very big and there’s just enough space to live and work. As it is a place where we felt good, I wanted to organize the preparation of the preparation again here. We are more numerous than four years ago, we have four more children (the “first circle” of the staff has gone from eight to twelve members, editor’s note). We looked to see if it fit and it did. Finding ourselves here has a strong symbolic meaning. This is where it all started…»
Gathered since Sunday afternoon, the staff faced the press before dispersing. And Fabien Galthié took the opportunity to take stock before the upcoming deadlines.
A seminar to become masters
“It’s a time when you prepare for preparation. The programming of the preparation is now stopped. The selection times, work times, places, friendly matches that will slowly bring us to September 8, everything is in place. We have the complete vision on the three months of preparation. We will ultimately not go with the Legion to Carpiagne. We will start in the first week of July, in Monaco. We are consistent, we are in phase with our arrow of time. This is the last competition of our mandate, the time when we will be the best on our arrow. We have the desire to become masters, which our team masters. We still have time for that, to progress and improve. Four months (from the beginning of July to the final, October 28, editor’s note). But we always learned from each competition. Of our strong times and our weak times, the defeat being the concretization of a weak time. During our first two years, we have 65% of victories, the last two, only one defeat for 95% of victories. The numbers don’t lie, they show that we have made progress.”
A fixed list of 42 steps
“We consider everyone: the injured, the return from injury… And there are still a lot of matches, the European finals, the final phase of the Top 14. We will unveil our first list of 42 players on June 21. But, before that, the Sunday following the play-offs (June 4), and therefore ten teams eliminated, we will convene a first group of 23 players in Marcoussis. For four days of preparation with the under 20s. Players who must have the ambition to enter the locker room of the 42. Because this jersey, you have to come and get it… Among these 42, there will be comings and goings. At each change of site, we will have the opportunity to modify this list, to bring back the injured, to shoot. Regarding the list, every Tuesday, our selection committee meets. We follow about a hundred players, with a ranking of 1 to 6-7 per position. And they are all aware of it. Preparing for a World Cup is long. There may be injuries, forfeits and, therefore, recalled players. You have to stay ready to get on the XV of France bus until the last match…”
“Four months at the hotel is too much! »
The launch of the preparation postponed to 1er July
“We have chosen to give the players a two-week break because they are in high demand.
Given the season that the players are in, and the final on June 17, we thought it best that the preparation only start at the beginning of July. It was necessary to sanctify this fortnight, to give the players time to recover. During the eight weeks of preparation, there will also be individualized moments of recovery and, even, two collective breaks. We built this program with great precision. We are vigilant about everything, very attentive to the volume of time spent and space traveled on the ground.
Three weeks with family
“We wanted a balance. Preparation plus the World Cup will mean 17 weeks of life together, for a population of 42 players, then 33. During our three weeks in Capbreton, where we will be training, we chose a site in Seignosse to balance this preparation. Four months in a hotel is too much. We will therefore be the staff (thirty members, editor’s note) and the squad, in a different setting. A holiday village where each member will have a bungalow available. With the possibility for each of us to experience the preparation with the family. But it will also be very precise regarding the distribution of common living time and family living time. This is consistent with our methodology. We put this time on the last three weeks of preparation, at the end of August.
Four warm-up matches, a first
“We anticipated it from the start of our mandate. These matches will allow to set up the team. We will face European rugby (twice Scotland), then to the nations of the South (Fiji and Australia), i.e. two different styles of play. It’s a perfect and coherent mix in our opinion. It’s also going to help us strike the right balance on matchday by complying with World Cup rules. We are forced to go from a staff of 30 members to 20 on the day of the match. And to travel at 33, and not at 28 like the rest of the time…”
Statements taken at a press conference