Many newcomers are expected in Japan for this summer’s Blues tour. Here are the names …
This is a group called “Mixed” from France, like the one that flew to Australia last year, which will therefore join Japan to face Jamie Joseph’s Cherry Blossoms on the 2nd and July 9th. As a reminder, so-called “premium” players such as Gregory Alldritt, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille or Uini Atonio will be left to rest. Gabin Villière (ankle) and Paul Willemse (knee), two undisputed winners of the last Grand Slam, are injured and recovering. This summer, the only “premium” or similar should be Matthieu Jalibert, Damian Penaud, Peato Mauvaka and Melvyn Jaminet.
In all likelihood, the nineteen players who took part in the last match of the British Barbarians against the Rose XV in Twickenham should have been on a trip. Among them, the rearguard of Racing 92 Max Spring, the revelation of last season of the Sky and White, will be part of the contingent: in a position where Brice Dulin should fail due to a minor injury to the ribs, the Racingman of the club Nafarroa (Federal 1) could therefore have less playing time in the face of a less substantial a priori opposition than the Springboks and Wallabies will be next autumn. Next to spring, we could find another nugget of French rugby, namely Nolann Le Garrec. At just 19, he has recently established himself as the Hauts-de-Seine club’s first half scrum, ahead of the experienced Maxime Machenaud, among others. In Japan, therefore, we should know a little more about the Breton prodigy: will he be able to print at the highest level the speed he usually gives to his club’s game? Imminent response, seems …
Matthieu Jalibert will be there!
This trip to Japan, which will be made in difficult conditions (expect more than 30 degrees and 75% humidity in Asia), will also give some the opportunity to relaunch the tricolor T-shirt Sekou Macalou, Baptiste Couilloud, Virimi Vakatawa, Ibrahim Diallo, Dany Priso, Pierre Bourgarit, Mathis Lebel …) and others, very good this season, such as the number 8 Yoan Tanga, the talented winger Matthias Haddad-Victor or the second line Rémi Picquette (La Rochelle), to know in Tokyo and Nagoya his first selections to the French selection. It should also be noted that the Bordeaux contingent will be important in Asia, with Matthieu Jalibert, Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer, Yoram Moefana, Thomas Jolmes, Maxime Lucu and Romain Buros, for example. Among the surprises of Fabien Galthié’s group, we will finally have the Bayonne Mathis Perchaud (left pillar) and Rémi Baget, the Basque winger who finished the season as the best scorer of rehearsals.
If the whole group is only known this Monday morning, here are the exclusive top thirty-three players who should be flying to Japan!
Whores : Pierre Bourgarit, Peato Mauvaka, Christopher Tolofua
Pillars : Jean-Baptiste Gros, Dany Priso, Mathis Perchaud, Sipili Falatea, Demba Bamba
second line Thomas Lavault, Thomas Jolmes, Rémi Picquette, Swan Rebbadj, Pierre-Henri Azagoh
Third line : Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer, Sekou Macalou, Ibrahim Diallo, Matthias Haddad-Victor, Yoan Tanga, Dylan Cretin, Charles Ollivon.
Half scrum : Maxime Lucu, Baptiste Couilloud, Nolann Le Garrec
half the fly : Antoine Hastoy, Matthieu Jalibert, Louis Carbonel
Centers : Tani Vili, Virimi Vakatawa
Alers : Damian Penaud, Mathis Lebel, Rémi Baget
later : Melvyn Jaminet, Max Spring, Romain Buros