His tears on the bench augured bad news. From the 12th minute of the opening match between the XV of France and New Zealand, Julien Marchand, his left thigh strapped, had to throw in the towel. “We fear a tear following hyper-extension on a scratch,” Fabien Galthié confided after the meeting. Julien preferred to go out, he was too weak. But we can imagine a problem with the hamstrings…”
This Saturday, Laurent Labit, the assistant coach in charge of the attack, said more. The Toulouse hooker will take “additional exams” at the start of the week. “We hope it’s not very serious. Once we have the diagnosis and the verdict of his injury, we will make a decision. It will depend on the duration of its unavailability.
“We still have two hookers in the group, Peato Mauvaka and Pierre Bourgarit, who are in very good shape. We also have pillars who can exceptionally play hooker like Sipili Falatea or Cyril Baille. In such a case, it is especially the throw into touch that is difficult to tame... There is no problem. There is no reason to panic: we are not going to rush, we have a match (against Uruguay, Editor's note) which will happen on Thursday where, in any case, Julien was not planned in the rotation", explained Laurent Labit. Namibia and Italy will follow before the quarter-finals, the weekend of October 14-15.
According to information from Midi Olympique, Julien Marchand (28 years old, 31 caps) should be absent between four and five weeks according to the first MRI taken on Friday evening. Which means it would be kept in the group. If, conversely, he were to withdraw from the rest of the competition, the Blues staff would call up the reserve hooker: Gaëtan Barlot. Injured at the end of the season, the Castres did not take part in the summer preparations for the XV of France.