From our special correspondent in San Sebastian
How are you approaching this Top 14 semi-final against Stade Toulousain? Laurent Travers: I hope we have a very good state of mind. We know who we are going to face. Stade Toulousain finished first, with three wins more than us. Over the whole season and the 26 days, they were much more efficient and more consistent than us.
In what physical condition are your players after the play-off won against Stade Français Paris? We had a break since we were not present in the final phase of the European Cup. We were able to regenerate and we were able to store rhythm by playing last week. As we played in very hot weather, the week was based on freshness and recovery. If it is hot on Friday, it will be the same conditions for both teams.
Against the Parisians, you suffered in the scrum... It is often said that "rugby is the school of life". Everything is called into question from one week to the next. Just because you've been good one week doesn't mean you'll be good the next. The reverse is true. It is not in six days that one will become very good and it is not in six days that one will become very bad. We have worked since the beginning of the season to be able to experience this kind of match. I hope the players will be keen to do the right thing. Revenge is over, you have to be present on the 80 minutes you have offered. To do well and have one more match at the Stade de France.
How do you prepare to face a team that has gleaned 15 more points than you in the regular season? I don't know if it's easy to prepare. When you see the images, it's much more difficult. We know that it's a team that is well in place, that does what it takes in terms of power and speed. They also have this ability to be able to keep the ball. It's not gossip: out of 26 matches, they won 17, we won 14. They performed better in terms of accounts and rugby.
Are you going to go anyway? (Smile) Yes, yes, we'll be there! And present. But we are lucid.
You played two matches in Spain, a Top 14 final in Barcelona and a Champions Cup final in Bilbao. What does this mean to you? We see that it is a country that loves football but also sports more generally. They love sports, but also enjoy, have fun. We saw it in Barcelona and in Bilbao, there was an atmosphere that was such that it transcends all the players. It's good for sport and for rugby.
This match could be, in the event of a setback, your last as manager of Racing 92. How are you living these last moments? I live them very well! (Smile) But for me, it's not important. What's important is Racing 92, it's the team. Me, I don't play first. So it will be difficult for me to do anything for 80 minutes. What is important is that the players have fun. And that Racing does what it takes to honor this jersey. So that the team and myself, we have the right to play one more game. I take advantage, I am lucky to be able to be there. It is an honor. I want to thank the players, the staff and the whole club because they allow me to still be able to vibrate. Afterwards, don't worry, the rugby continues and so do I, so it's fabulous.
Does it add a particular emotion? It does, of course. Because we know it can stop. But something stops and something else begins. That's life. Honestly, I don't pay much attention to it.