XV of France – First position in the world: decoy or truth for the blues?

Encouraged by their historic ten-win streak, the Blues have been propelled this Monday for the first time in their history to the top of the World Rugby rankings. a reflection of reality or a mere combination of circumstances? We try to see it more clearly, in the middle of the general euphoria …

You never know for sure what to think of these world rankings that you never give importance to, except when you take first place … However, if you are willing to consider that it is not uncommon to see a French team take first place. world ranking, whatever the sport (only the French national football team achieved this in 2001-2002, before doing so again for a few months in 2018, while basketball or basketball has never had success, and that this ranking does not exist in handball). ), we can only better understand the wave of arrogant reactions that aroused on Monday the officialization of the Rugby World Ranking, starting with that of the President of the FFR Bernard Laporte. “For the first time in its history, the XV of France reached the first place in the world ranking. Thanks to the players, Fabien Galthié, Raphaël Ibanez and his staff, thanks to the professional clubs and amateur rugby. This is the great success of all French rugby. »

Thanks also (and especially) to Ireland and Wales, whose successful feats in New Zealand (12-23) and South Africa (12-13) last Saturday, just in the ideal range, offered in a set this first place to a XV of France who did not ask so much, a few days after leaving “its worst performance in terms of content”, (said Thomas Lavault) in Tokyo against the modest Japanese …

“What matters is to be number one on October 28, 2023, not to be number one a year and a half too soon”

The truth is that, beyond having seen the other European nations take the chestnuts out of the fire, the XV of France had at least the merit of signing a perfect season, as evidenced by its historic series of 10 consecutive victories. , a first for 85 years. . An even balance that obviously weighed heavily on the Blues’ ranking, especially because during these 10 games, Fabien Galthié’s men had the merit of dominating Saint-Denis two of their direct pursuers: New Zealand in November (40- 25). ) and Ireland during the Tournament (30-24). Two successes that obviously weighed heavily, amplified by the grand slam of the Six Nations Tournament. This success is even more crucial in the current first place of the blues, given the full card achieved by the northern nations last week in the southern hemisphere, England after having won, in turn, in Australia (17 -25) while Scotland dominated. Argentina (6-29) …

And what ? Should we swallow ourselves without any measure with this classification or, on the contrary, shave the walls? Neither, good sir, as this number one status remains the most precarious, which could this weekend in favor of both New Zealand and Ireland, depending on the result (and the magnitude of the score) in the third test. So you can also take advantage of this lighting without being blinded by it, understanding that in the spirit of our Blues, “What matters is to be number one on October 28, 2023, not to be number one a year and a half too soon”, as a staff member told us. This fear of being “prepared too soon” it seems all the more vain that, assuming that the blues have never been world champions, we cannot consider this first historical place in the world as a bad omen … And honestly, after having witnessed the grand slam achieved by the nations of the north. against the southern hemisphere last week, the extreme dominance of French rugby over Europe this season (either at the club or national team level) would ultimately make this place of honor quite logical, albeit anecdotal …

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