Louis Picamoles captain for the first time of the XV of France

Already in line 80 times in the French team, the third-line will discover the responsibility of the captaincy against the United States, October 2.

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Louis Picamoles, September 15 in Fujiyoshida. ISSEI KATO / REUTERS

We saw him talking on the ground. Also outside, before entering the second half against Argentina (23-21), for the inaugural victory of nine days ago. It is because Louis Picamoles is discovering new prerogatives. Those of an elder who takes more and more importance in the locker room.

At 33, the third-row is now preparing to become the captain of the Blues against the United States, Wednesday, October 2 in Fukuoka. An alternative in the absence of hooker Guilhem Guirado, left on the bench against this alleged weaker opponent, as the majority of incumbents lined up against the Argentines.

A first, especially, for Picamoles. In 80 selections already contested, never the thirties had yet assumed such responsibility. The choice "The most logical", according to his coach, Jacques Brunel, who is about to re-align an inexperienced team. On the pitch, the Montpellier player is the one who will offer "The more experience, the more guarantees", says the coach, at 7e floor of the Kumamoto hotel where the Bleus have made an appointment to the press, Monday, September 30.

In fact, Picamoles is an elder. The only one, with Guirado, to compete for the third time at the World Cup. In 2011, he was not even on the score sheet of the final, lost (8-7) against New Zealand. Four years later, he scored the only French test of this nightmarish quarterfinal also against the All Blacks (62-13).

"Queries" before the World Cup

The presence of "Loulou" (his little nickname) in Japan seemed yet compromised, there is still a month. Subject to debate, at least. Especially when one thinks of Francois Cros, a very prominent reservist against Scotland, in mid-August, for the first of three preparation matches.

"Picamoles answered the questions", finally decided Brunel, on September 2, dismissing rather Cros. The coach justified this choice by the performance of the first named three days earlier, against a very weak team from Italy (47-19), for the last of the three preparatory games at the World Cup.

To go even further, we can also evoke the famous night of Edinburgh. That of February 2018, the day after which several players of the XV of France found themselves at the post after a very wet third half and, incidentally, a defeat against Scotland. Louis Picamoles was, despite his already advanced age.

Jacques Brunel seems today more satisfied with his current performance. Especially since the arrival of the Blues in Japan in early September. "In the group life, but also in the construction of the game, in the reflection on the game, Louis showed a lot of investment. It's a face I did not know him, which is surprising and very positive. " The compliment is right in the case of the 1,000e French international history.

Rugby World Cup: Twelve changes in the XV of France against the United States

A broad review of strength: the coach of XV of France, Jacques Brunel, announced Monday, September 30 made twelve changes in the starting XV for the second match of the World Cup, against the United States on Wednesday in Fukuoka ( South of Japan), where the captain will be, for the first time, Louis Picamoles. With two games in four days (Tonga, 6 October), and even three in ten (England, 12), a major rotation was expected. The management has apparently wanted to preserve, facing the weakest opponent of the hen on the paper, his forces in view of the rough fight expected against the Tongan.

Read also Rugby World Cup 2019: the next match of the XV of France under the threat of a typhoon

"We tried to balance on both sides, to make everyone play", said Brunel to the press in Kumamoto, who " a little " also take into account the characteristics of Americans, "Athletic but less powerful than Tonga". "There are a lot of changes, but without it being there anyway because seventeen players were on the scoresheet last weekend (23-21 against Argentina). Even if they were not all holders. There are only six new ones. "

The six new ones are, among the holders, the right pillar Emerick Setiano (first tenure), the second-line Paul Gabrillagues, the third-line Yacouba Camara, the center Sofiane Guitoune and winger Alivereti Raka. And, among the substitutes, Baptiste Serin.


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