French scrum-half Baptiste Serin said on Friday he remained calm before leading his country for the second time as he hosted Italy in the fall Nations Cup.
The 26-year-old’s previous experience at the helm of the Blues was as a seventh-minute substitute in the 49-14 hammering New Zealand in 2018.
“I don’t have a good memory of that because we conceded a lot of points, but we can’t compare the two,” said Serin.
“I got to think about what I wanted to tell the guys now. But it is obviously an honor and a moment of pride. It’s a role that I enjoy. But I don’t get too angry, ”he added. .
The Toulon half-back is starting his first game since last year’s Rugby World Cup and has played just 29 minutes in five matches replacing Antoine Dupont.
Serin, who takes over the captain’s armband from flanker Charles Ollivon, made his Test debut in 2016 but has been behind Morgan Parra, Maxime Machenaud and now Dupont in form in the pecking order.
On Saturday, he will benefit from an agreement between the French Rugby Federation and the Top 14 which provides for a maximum of three appearances for each player during the year-end campaign.
“I have been involved in the establishment of France for quite some time and so it is not something that bothers me, on the contrary in fact,” said Serin.
“The important thing is to know your role and where you fit in a team. I have experience so I try to show it.
“Some people know I have character. I dare to say what I think, which is important in my position, ”he added.
– ‘Not timely’ –
Serin is the most senior member of a squad of the day comprising 11 uncapped players who met for the first time on Monday.
His team, coached by Fabien Galthie since the World Cup, can clinch a place in the final of the Fall Nations Cup next weekend with at least one draw against the Azzurri on Saturday.
“I knew the previous period where we won less often, so it’s a real pleasure to see France win,” said the scrum half test 38 times.
“What was important for us was that the new players and the whole team find out what we wanted to put in place as quickly as possible.
“We’re pretty confident, even though we haven’t had time to prepare. “
© 2020 AFP