the XV of France is about to go where "nobody saw"

The Blues are preparing for their quarterfinals against the Welsh. After three first mixed victories and a shock France-England canceled because of typhoon.

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Sofiane Guitoune in training, October 9, 2019 in Kumamoto.
Sofiane Guitoune in training, October 9, 2019 in Kumamoto. Franck Fife / AFP

Baskets of sneakers to chain as fast as possible, moles to hit all over with a hammer, arcade terminal to simulate the conduct of a train: the third floor of the mall offers all kinds of entertainment. But we rather crossed the Blues on the ground floor. Either for a walk with his mother, in the case of the young Roman Ntamack. Either for a coffee stop with wife and child, for a little less young Maxime Médard.

After Kumamoto, here are the players of the XV of France in Oita, still on the island of Kyushu, the southernmost of the Archipelago. And here they are especially in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, they will compete in the same port city against the Welsh, Sunday, October 20 at 9:15 am. Clearly, where "Nobody saw us", sums up the back "Max" Medard.

We feel reassured, these Blues, to have given the most alarmist predictions. To have foiled the ominous "predictions". Camille Lopez is having fun now: "On the phone, even some buddies would say to me," Ooh la la "…" To say that it seemed quite conceivable to imagine an elimination in the first round of the World Cup.


The opener has always hoped the opposite, even if he understands the circumspection: "When you saw the Six Nations Tournament we did …" In other words: when you saw the Blues collapse in a sad fourth place, in March, a month after a rout without name in England (44-8) … "The biggest rugby shame of my life," admits the pillar Jefferson Poirot.

A reunion was to be held Saturday, October 12. French and English were preparing for Closing Group C, already assured to qualify for the quarterbacks. A good opportunity for the Blues to gauge after being judged. Finally, the match was canceled in Yokohama because of typhoon Hagibis, the most violent of the season in Japan.

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Of the three games already played (and won) in the competition, the first one seemed the most complicated for France. It ended with a decisive victory against Argentina (23-21), on 21 September in Tokyo, with a no less decisive drop by Camille Lopez. "Before, we would have lost, this match," according to Arthur Iturria, the third line, without his explanation for this change.


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