Louis Picamoles, ancien numéro 8 du XV de France (82 sélections), donne les clés de ce Nouvelle-Zélande – France, match d’ouverture de la Coupe du monde ce vendredi 8 septembre (21h15).
What did you do in 2009 to defeat the All Blacks on their home turf during a summer tour?
We had taken them on their strong points and frustrated them upfront. We had a team that had a lot of talent. There was this feat by François (Trinh-Duc) and this interception by Max Médard. It’s the kind of match where everything goes your way. And when you excel in the fundamental areas: defense and aggression, it helps. On the other hand, they had a few absences but when you know their resources…
A lire aussi : VIDEO. Coupe du monde de rugby : le jour où Louis Picamoles a craqué face à Richie McCaw
Are the Blacks weaker than before?
I don’t like to say this. This team is well-prepared for these events. I am very wary of them. They were completely dominated by South Africa (35-7), that’s true. Having played with and against New Zealanders, I know a bit about their mindset. They will be ready. The French team will be too. Having some contacts within the group, I know that what we hear about the All Blacks doesn’t affect the French team in any way. They all know what they are up against. If France wins, it means they will have played a very strong game, as they always do when they need to beat this team. Success cannot be achieved without all the factors coming together: talent, luck, and commitment.
Quel genre de match anticipez-vous ?
There will be intensity. When we see today’s international matches… Against the Springboks, we saw New Zealand adopt a game that was not their own. They wanted to play like South Africa to show that they could compete. But when you want to beat the opposing team at their own game while having a different identity, it doesn’t work.
Là, je pense qu’ils vont quand même proposer encore un gros combat devant. Le fait qu’on n’ait pas de deuxième ligne dense, peut-être qu’ils vont nous tester. Mais la France se prépare aussi en conséquence. Woki et Flament savent être besogneux. Pas de doutes là-dessus.
Should we expect a lot of kicking in the game?
There is a myth surrounding the New Zealand game, the team that plays. But if we look deeper, it is a team that plays intelligently. They put a lot of pressure with their kicks and play on the opponents’ mistakes. Today, we have a French team with a similar profile. The team that adopts the right kicking strategy will be close to the truth. The 50-22 rule is a formidable weapon. It will be one of the keys in this competition.