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XV of France: “I am not the same person as four years ago”, confides the ghost Gabrillagues

Comments collected in Marcoussis.

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XV of France: “I am not the same person as four years ago”, confides the ghost Gabrillagues

Comments collected in Marcoussis

The first big session of the week seems to have stung...Paul Gabrillagues: Yes, it stung quite a bit. Since this (Wednesday) morning, quite a few things have been done, whether in separate groups or collectively. We worked well, it was a good day.

We imagine that it feels good to come back in blue...Yes, it feels extremely good.

How did you hear the news and how did you feel? I received a phone call from Fabien Galthié, who told me that I was going to be taken back. I was very happy.

Did you expect it? No... (Laughs) To be honest, I didn't expect it, it was really a very nice surprise and I was very happy.

Has this changed since last time? No, quite a few things have remained the same. Afterwards, there were quite a few changes in terms of players. In terms of staff, too, which is much more substantial. New things have been put in place, on the living environment, on group life. I've been slowly integrating since Sunday evening.

Have you changed since the last time? (He laughs) Four years have passed, so inevitably in four years, a lot of things happen. Between my 26 and my 30 years, I am not the same person. In some things, I have changed.

Also read: XV of France: “You have to give yourself the means to have what you want”, insists the neophyte Gibert

What ambitions are you returning with? A place in the starting 23? We are all competitors, everyone wants to play, otherwise there is no point in coming. We all want to play, that's normal.

How do you manage yourself when you're 30? Do you see yourself going all the way to the 2027 World Cup? I'll take things as they come. Without projecting myself too far. I try to enjoy every moment. I haven't been there recently so I welcome things with a lot of spontaneity. Everything there is to take, I try to take it without seeing too far. To answer the first question, it doesn't change much. A lot of things are going on in your head.

Is it easy to fit into this group? I knew some of the players I had played with. I discover other players. It's a group that has won enormously, it shows that they have lived very well together. I try to get to know everyone a little bit. Also staying in my place, but we feel that there is a good group of friends, that's the basis of rugby. It's good to see. It makes me happy to be part of this group.

What has changed in terms of training? It's still a little early to tell. We had the first two days with a lot of clarity and meetings. It's too early for me to make comparisons, but today was a good day, very complete.

In the French team, you find Laurent Sempéré whom you knew well at the Stade Français...He will bring the experience he acquired at the Stade Français. You will find out. Often, forward coaches are picky and rigorous.

Does his presence facilitate your integration? In the overall game, things had been set up before. We are in continuity with some new adjustments. It's more up to me to take the step to see what is being done and how it works. And assimilate very quickly.

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