It is understood, and this is how the winger Yoann Huget said earlier in the week, the World Cup imposes a "Crescendo" physical. A particular sequence of sometimes distant games, sometimes close together, and all the training intercalated between them. Sometimes too special.
Thursday, October 3, it turns out that the XV of France had to announce the package on injury of two new players, of the 31 brought to Japan. Thomas Ramos: an ankle edema that occurred the day before, in the USA (33-9) victory, for the back who also participated in the success over Argentina (23-21). And Peato Mauvaka: tearing psoas in training, for the hooker who had not played the least minute in the competition.
" Disabilities "
These two starts are added to two others since the beginning of the World Cup. Center midfielder Wesley Fofana, poorly recovered from a knee injury against Italy at the end of August in a warm-up match. And that of the pillar Demba Bamba, touched a thigh during a training.
"It's a handicap for us"agreed the coach, Jacques Brunel, Friday, October 4, in the spacious hotel in Kumamoto where the Blues stay. And to add, wishing to ward off bad luck: "We hope that on the next match nothing will happen. "
"Unfortunately, in this competition we can not look beyond the next two games. We need to have our entire staff. Jacques Brunel
We are soon fixed: this next appointment will fall the day after tomorrow, Sunday, October 6, against Tonga. Important meeting to stay in one of the first two places of group C, qualifiers for the quarterfinals, before facing England at the end of the first round.
" Sadly, says Brunel, in this competition we can not look beyond the next two games. We need to have our entire staff. " In other words, there is no time to wait for recovery, as many other French players and willing.
In just two weeks, four new passengers have already taken their express ticket for Japan: Pierre-Louis Barassi, Cedate Gomes Sa, Vincent Rattez and Christopher Tolofua. Four reinforcements to replace respectively Fofana, Bamba, Ramos and Mauvaka.
1/2 Following an internal sprain injury for @ ThomRamos15, (@Toulousain stadium, 24 years old, 8 sel) and a lesion of the mus … https://t.co/52Fs2Hqdgw
Convocations sometimes confusing. Even for the French Rugby Federation, which at first very officially announced the name of Uini Atonio to replace Bamba, on Twitter. Before retracting just as officially, Atonio having injured himself in the league of France …
As for Tolofua, the hooker has not played in the French team since … the 2017 Six Nations Tournament. He is coming out of complicated years: serious cervical problems, a medical contraindication, an exile in England to play despite everything (with the Saracens), then an operation and a return to Toulon.
A trying experience
Above all, one question remains, the main one of these days: does the premature four-player package have anything to do with the intensity of their summer preparation? " Honestly, no ", according to Brunel, which evokes rather a character "Accidental".
Good student, the young Roman Ntamack thinks he has benefited from"Very good preparation, very good training that keeps us fit". Even if the opening half, established for Sunday, obviously regret these losses which "Put a little bit of morale". "We know it can happen, but do not tell yourself "Well, I'm going to play so I do not hurt myself"because that would be the best way to get hurt. "
"As soon as we arrived, he told us it would be hard, we knew it. »Baptiste Serin, scrum half
For the first trainees, physical preparation for the World Cup began as early as the week of 25 June. For the last, from that of July 6th. A testing experience for everyone, as Thibault Giroud, the new physical trainer, rightly intended.
"As soon as we arrived, he told us it would be hard, we knew it"explains the scrum half Baptiste Serin. Three elements had left the group on injury since the preparation: the second-line Paul Willemse, the pillar Etienne Falgoux and the center Geoffrey Doumayrou.
Serin refuses to see in all the mishaps of his teammates anything other than "Hazards" and of " The bad luck ". Facing the journalists, the n ° 9 has elastic ribbons to the body. At the nape, because he had "Put your head in a ruck where you should not", last week while training. And at one knee, because of"A pain for a moment".
" But it's OK "reassures the scrum-half, who will start Sunday's game. A tenure likely to blow Antoine Dupont, substitute for the same match, even though this one "Has a little back pain", according to Brunel.
Rugby World Cup: find all the groups
Group A: all you need to know about Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia and Samoa.
Group B: all you need to know about New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia and Canada.
Group C: all you need to know about France, England, Argentina, Tonga and the United States.
Group D: all you need to know about Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay.