Back in Paris this Sunday, the sluggish winners of Scotland will not return to Marcoussis. The third day of the Six Nations Tournament is only two weeks away – France-Italy on Sunday February 25 (4 p.m. kick-off) in Lille – and the Blues are free until next Sunday.
On the program, a little rest for the 19 players (and no longer 23, the convention was scrapped after the failure of the World Cup) designated as “protected” by Fabien Galthié. These are therefore exempt from the 15th day of Top 14 next weekend. The 15 other players who were part of the group of 34 who prepared the trip to Edinburgh will be on deck if their club wishes to field them in the championship. Which is very likely.
Return home to Essonne next Sunday to prepare for the match against Italy. With the exception of the possible Castres and Toulonnais who will only join the CNR of Marcoussis on Monday since the poster between these two teams closes the 15th day of Top 14, Sunday evening.
Charles Ollivon being one of the protected players, this scenario should only concern the young second-row of the RCT, Matthias Halagahu, who can claim a place on the bench and, therefore, a first selection, at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille, and the CO hooker, Gaëtan Barlot, reservist in Edinburgh.
There remains one unknown, that of Captain Grégoy Alddritt, victim of a deep wound in his knee which required several stitches. More fear than harm, as the Rochelais pointed out. But his injury requires “healing time”. We saw him leave the Murrayfield stadium on Saturday evening with his left leg encased in a thick rigid protection in order to protect the stitches from any untimely movement.