[VIDEO] Coupe du monde de rugby 2023 : de la folie aux scories, retour sur la semaine des Bleus

Sentiment d’euphorie, caractère ronchon, une cérémonie toujours aussi présente dans l’actualité, Dupont solidaire avec Jean Dujardin… Retour sur une semaine des Bleus mouvementée.

Undoubtedly, a home World Cup puts the spotlight on their figures. Even more so when the label of favorites is attached to their forehead. But the French team had four years to be ready. During these four years under Fabien Galthié’s leadership, the coach and his staff made sure that their players had the shoulders to handle all this enthusiasm. Getting used to the connection with the public, speaking to the press, using talking points, communicating, resisting the pressure of such a competition… Everything was anticipated. Even a poor performance, a slump. Like the one on Thursday night. Under the glitter at the beginning of the week after the demonstration in the opening match, Uruguay quickly dampened the budding euphoria.

Mise au point

The first week brought its share of news, marked by the Bastien Chalureau case and Jonathan Danty’s injury. The second week, in a different style, also stirred up our daily lives. This time, it was more about athletes.

From Monday onwards, a recurring question arose. Which team should face Uruguay, after the impressive display against New Zealand three days earlier? Should everything be changed? Which players will play in both matches? The 3,000 French supporters who came to Rueil-Malmaison to watch the training session of the French team noticed the significant turnover in sight. Bruno Boussagol, the health manager of the French XV, also gave some hints. Cyril Baille (calf) and Julien Marchand (hamstring) are unfit, Anthony Jelonch (knee) and Jonathan Danty (hamstring) are « available to the staff. » So be it.

12 changements et de l’impatience

Twenty-four hours later, the pseudo-suspense comes to an end. As yesterday’s training proved, there are twelve changes to be noted in the starting XV that will face Uruguay on Thursday. After the tension and the high-profile match against the Blacks, it’s time for a rejuvenated, less experienced, and hungry team. Bielle-Biarrey, Boudehent, Vincent, Jaminet, Macalou, and the returning Jelonch will be part of the game. « It’s the best team at the moment, » says Fabien Galthié.

Is rugby a right-wing sport?

The French rugby eagerly awaits this second match. But there is not really any gossip to sink our teeth into. The debate about the opening ceremony resurfaces when Valeurs Actuelles, a media with a clear bias, reveals its front page. France rugby with Antoine Dupont and Jean Dujardin in close-up. Several observers have lamented a ceremony based on a Paris that no longer exists, a time of berets and baguettes. Some see it as promoting « the France that was better before. » A strong emphasis on the far right. From there, shows invite specialists to ask the question? « Is rugby a right-wing sport? » « Rugby is a left-wing sport, played by right-wing people, » one can hear, with varying degrees of irony.

Une agitation extra-sportive qu’a fini par commenter Jean Dujardin, acteur-réalisateur de la cérémonie d’ouverture. « Je tombe à la renverse », déclare le comédien dans un long message écrit sur Instagram. Quelques jours plus tard, il répondra à Valeurs Actuelles. « La France rugby, oui. Vos valeurs, non. Pas de récupération, merci », écrit-il. Antoine Dupont partagera cette déclaration sur son compte Instagram, lui aussi.

Les finisseurs, pas des démarreurs

Autour de cette agitation puérile, les Bleus restent imperméables. Leur focus : l’Uruguay, jeudi, à Lille. L’issue de la rencontre est sans suspense avant le coup d’envoi. Après ? Le sentiment est plus que complexe. Malgré le succès (27-12), l’euphorie sportive depuis six jours a laissé place à la déception, faisant la part belle aux critiques. Les habituels « finisseurs » n’ont pas réussi à assumer pleinement le rôle de “démarreurs”. Le point de bonus est oublié en route et un scénario que même Alfred Hitchckok n’aurait pas imaginé : et si les Bleus avaient peur ?

« The Italy match will be crucial. »

Suddenly, the theory of the accident gains momentum. If Italy defeats France on October 6th by a margin of more than seven points, secures a defensive bonus against the All Blacks, and wins with an offensive bonus against Uruguay, the French team will be in trouble. « The Italy match will be decisive, » Karim Ghezal declares on Friday.

Petit rappel, les Transalpins ont remporté un seul de leurs 42 derniers matches du Tournoi des VI Nations et n’ont plus battu la France depuis 2013. De leur côté, les Bleus se sont imposés contre toutes les meilleures équipes depuis quatre ans.

But that’s also France, the one from the 50s and today. Complaining and being negative. That’s what makes us charming, no doubt.