Autumn Nations Cup: France relies on inexperience for the final against England | Rugby news


France’s head coach Fabien Galthie

On paper, a France v England rugby test should be an exciting European clash, but next Sunday’s Autumn Nations Cup final between the two could be one of their most uneven encounters to date.

While England are expected to be at full power at Twickenham, where 2,000 spectators will be allowed in as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed slightly, Les Bleus are expected to send a B team.

Under new coach Fabien Galthie, France have won seven of their eight tests this year, finishing second in the Six Nations behind England on points difference despite beating Eddie Jones’ side in the opening game of the championship.

Winger Gabin Villiere scores a try on his France debut against Italy

Winger Gabin Villiere scores a try on his France debut against Italy

But a deal between the federation and the league, which looks after the interests of clubs in the Top 14, means players could only be on three match sheets in the fall international window.

When the Six Nations decision maker against Ireland was postponed to October 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Galthie lined up his best players for a friendly test against Wales a week earlier.

The head coach then opted to use the same squad to face Scotland in Group B of the Fall Nations Cup, possibly unsure whether his reserve side would beat their best opponents in the pool.

Dupont will not be available for the final

Dupont will not be available for the final

Antoine Dupont, who became one of the best half-scrums in the world, led the team to victory. But he and the likes of captain Charles Ollivon and centers Virimi Vakatawa and Gael Fickou, have now finished for the year.

A revamped France beat Italy 36-5 in the final Group B game on Saturday, but with just two players winning more than seven caps, the squad will be largely inexperienced.

Scrum-half Baptiste Serin and winger Teddy Thomas, who played against the Azzurri, are also due to leave the squad after making three tries.

“England in the final? It’s a nation that doesn’t lose much, and they’re going to play with their best team, it’s probably the best team in the world at the moment since South Africa hasn’t played ”. said Galthie.

When asked if he had been tempted to ask the Federation and the League if they could make an exception and allow him to recall his best guns, Galthie said it wouldn’t have been productive.

” No. You can’t ask the players to come into the squad, leave and come back, ”he explained.

“It’s too difficult for a player. Club rugby and international rugby are two different things.

“We do with what we have in an environment that is not ideal. We just have to move on and manage what we have. ”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here