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XV of France: “I am a mix between Anglo-Saxon captain and French captain,” laughs Alldritt

In Marseille.

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XV of France: “I am a mix between Anglo-Saxon captain and French captain,” laughs Alldritt

In Marseille

How do you feel on the eve of honoring your captaincy? Grégory Alldritt: It's a lot of pride, a lot of honor. So far, it's very easy. I have a great group. We are in line with the last four years. There are still a lot of automations and things are going very well.

Some of your teammates at Stade Rochelais say that you are an Anglo-Saxon captain, inspired by your manager Ronan O'Gara. What do you think?I am not an Anglo-Saxon captain or a French captain. I'm trying to do a little mix. I had the chance, in La Rochelle, to rub shoulders with great French players and great foreign players. I do it my way, I try not to copy anyone and remain myself despite the role. Of course, I have British origins and that can help when talking with the referees. I also have quite a few Champions Cup matches where I was able to regularly rub shoulders with international referees. Afterwards, I let the observers judge whether it is an Anglo-Saxon or French captaincy. I do it my way.

Do you feel greater pressure as you launch Fabien Galthié's second mandate after the failure in the World Cup? For the moment, I feel the same pressure as before each Tournament, each match against Ireland, each selection. Honestly, I don't feel any negative pressure, nor a stressed or unwell group. We worked well, we are confident in our strategy. It's up to us to use a lot of precision and intensity once on the pitch. But I think we are ready to have a great match.

Against Ireland, it will certainly be a fierce fight, like every time...We remember the previous matches yes, especially the last one which was very tough with 45 minutes of effective playing time. We know that we will have to be at our best physically. We worked very well and we regenerated well too. A lot of players needed it. I think that, physically, we will be there. It will be necessary because Ireland has a precise, meticulous conquest and relies on a world-class third line, perhaps the best in the world. It's a great challenge. But we, French, love taking on challenges. So it's perfect...

Are you enjoying playing this clash at the Vélodrome stadium? We have a lot of good memories there. It's a stadium that we love, where we always benefit from enormous support, where crazy energy comes from the stands. Our supporters are very noisy and that helps us at the end of the match, when we are tired. I hope that will still be the case on Friday evening because we will really need it against Ireland… We like the Stade de France, but the Vélodrome has something special, something different. We have always played great matches there and we really like this place.

By beating Ireland, would the French XV take a first step towards a final victory in the Tournament? The beauty of this competition is that, every weekend, it is very hard. We must be regular for seven weeks. It is therefore too early to say that this match will be decisive for a final victory.

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