From our special correspondent in Marcoussis
At the end of the last World Cup, right pillar Uini Atonio (La Rochelle) and second row Romain Taofifenua (Lyon), both aged 33, announced that they were ending their international careers . But, as the next Six Nations Tournament approaches, the two Pacific warriors have made it known that they will continue their lease with the XV of France. Good news for William Servat, the coach of the French forwards, who, like Fabien Galthié, worked to ensure that they continue.
“That Uini Atonio continues is a very good thing for him and for us. To be completely honest, I discussed it with him during the World Cup and I spoke to him several times on the phone afterwards, the former international hooker said this Tuesday during a press briefing in Marcoussis. . To convince him? To discuss it with him, yes. It was a pleasure. Players may sometimes wonder about their future. When I stopped, I didn't necessarily have these discussions with my coaches. And there, it was good to talk, you have to ask yourself the right questions about your career.”
And Fabien Galthié's deputy added: “From time to time, in France, we have this idea that from a certain age, we are no longer in high-level culture. Whereas if you want to stay there and continue to train for it, it's entirely possible. We realize that the last world champion team had a lot of players of that age.” During their world double, the Springboks fielded an extremely experienced group (15 of the 23 lined up in the final were in their thirties), with many players crowned four years earlier in Japan.