The superb success of the Blues, Friday evening against the All Blacks (27-13), cleared the way for the quarter-finals of the World Cup (weekend of October 14 and 15). Even before that, there are three matches left (Uruguay, Namibia, Italy) for Fabien Galthié's team to secure its place at the top of Group A. It therefore begins this Thursday (9 p.m. on TF1) against the modest Uruguayans, 17th in the world ranking. For this second match, Fabien Galthié and his staff decided to leave the vast majority of their executives to rest. In the end, it was a big upheaval with 12 changes compared to the starting XV which launched the competition against the New Zealanders
“More than the desire to rest the executives, it is the desire to build a team, to ensure that it is as efficient as possible for the matches to come,” explained William Servat, the coach of the French forwards. Only second-row Cameron Woki (Racing 92) and center Yoram Moefana (UBB) and winger Gabin Villière (Toulon) retain their starting place. Woki will be associated in the cage with Romain Taofifenua (Lyon) and Moefana will pair up in the center of the attack with Arthur Vincent (Montpellier), author of a convincing comeback against New Zealand after two dark seasons.
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This meeting at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium against the “Teros” (the bird which is their symbol) will be marked by the return to competition of third row Anthony Jelonch (Toulouse), who had seriously injured his knee against Scotland during the last Six Nations Tournament. He had embarked on a crazy race against time to be present at the World Cup, a successful bet! The Gersois will be captain of the Blues and will start at number 8, supervised by Sekou Macalou (Stade Français) and Paul Boudehent (La Rochelle).
The first line is completely overhauled with the tenure of pillars Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon) and Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), with the third hooker in the position hierarchy, Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle). The hinge will be made up of the usual “finishers”, namely scrum half Maxime Lucu (UBB) and fly-half Antoine Hastoy (La Rochelle). “You only experience this once, I just want to play and play well,” said the opener for the European champions Maritimes. I feel very good physically and I want us to go out with smiles on Thursday evening.”
On the substitutes' bench, second-row Baptiste Chalureau (Montpellier), at the heart of a controversy after being convicted by the courts in November 2020 for violence and racist insults (he appealed), will start in Lille. On the other hand, Jonathan Danty, who missed the opening match due to a muscle injury in his thigh, was not selected. A cautious choice for the rest of the competition. “We built something on balance, with the desire to include all our players. When we see the quality of the physical preparation and that of everyone's human investment, we simply tried to ensure that everyone could participate,” underlines William Servat.
Jaminet - Bielle-Biarrey, Vincent, Moefana, Villière - (o) Hastoy, (m) Lucu - Macalou, Jelonch (cap), Boudehent - Taofifenua, Woki - Aldegheri, Bourgarit, GrosRemplaçants: Mauvaka, Wardi, Falatea, Chalureau, Flament , Cros, Couilloud, Ramos