France coach Galthie has “five or six” candidates for captain with injury in Ollivon


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Paris (AFP)

France boss Fabien Galthie said on Tuesday he had half a dozen options to replace regular skipper Charles Ollivon, who will miss November tests with a serious knee injury.

Besides flanker Anthony Jelonch, who led the Blues in this month’s series loss to Australia, French media have identified hooker Julien Marchand, who leads Toulouse, his teammate and scrum half Antoine Dupont as well as La Rochelle n ° 8. Gregory Alldritt as contenders.

Ollivon, 28, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in June. The Toulon flanker is expected to return at the start of the year.

France will face New Zealand, Argentina and Georgia in the fall.

“There are five or six players who have the opportunity to be captain,” Galthie told AFP.

“I’d rather keep their names under wraps, that wouldn’t be fair. But they know we’re talking about them,” he added.

Jelonch, 24, bound for Toulouse, took over from Ollivon as Galthie’s men lost the Wallabies 2-1 in three games within 10 days.

“We had identified the potential to be a captain in him,” said Galthie.

“We guided him and tried to give him the support he needed so that he wouldn’t waste too much energy in his preparation and be himself.

“First of all, he’s a captain who sets the example, you just have to follow him. He’s a young player, but he showed the way. He delivered,” added the former scrum-half.

– No more “sleeping giants” –

Galthie, who took over after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, had to name weakened teams twice during his tenure. First because as part of an agreement between the Top 14 and the French Rugby Federation in November and then because of the rules for entering quarantine in Australia at the beginning of the month.

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The Blues have lost five of their former captain’s 17 matches but have remained without a trophy since their last Six Nations title in 2010.

“The team is not closed but we have identified all the potential players, we have roughly ranked them,” he said.

“We are now back among the best in the world.

“In two years, we won in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Australia. When we lost in England it was in the last game. We used to be called the ‘sleeping giant’. ‘is no longer the case, “he added. added.

Although the French club season does not start until September 4, Galthie said he will spend the break revisiting the Australian tour and watching other test matches.

“When we signed up for this mission, we had no respite. Now it’s time for a debriefing,” he said.

“There’s also time to observe, there’s the Lions tour, it’s a great workshop. Then there’s The Rugby Championship.

“Then the season begins, when I hope, despite the Covid, to be able to meet the players and coaches in the clubs.

“We don’t really have a vacation. There are quieter times when we’re less pressed for time and can focus more on analysis.”

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