After the large victory against Italy last weekend at the opening of the VI Nations Tournament, Fabien Galthié and his staff will logically bet on stability to face Ireland on Sunday (4 p.m.). But two changes could still be made with the possible tenure of Damian Penaud in the wing and Anthony Jelonch in the third row.
It’s not really a surprise. The winners of Italy (50-10), last Saturday in Rome at the opening of the Six Nations Tournament, should indeed almost all be returned Sunday for the trip to Dublin (4 p.m.). Fabien Galthié and his staff will bet on continuity as confirmed by the high intensity training on Thursday morning carried out in the cold and icy wind of Marcoussis.
Initially scheduled for Wednesday evening, the session was indeed postponed to the next day due to weather conditions. Caps screwed on the head or with balaclavas, an additional blanket for some during the warm-up, the Blues braved the cold to repeat their ranges and gain strength.
Jelonch should be preferred over Cretin
The lessons are clear pending the official announcement Friday noon: the starting XV will have a new chance to shine, to try to win for the first time in Ireland in ten years, but two changes could still be made.
In the third row, the Castres and future Toulousain Anthony Jelonch (24 years old, 5 caps), replacing in Rome, lived most of the session with the probable holders. He should indeed join the team in place of Lyonnais Dylan Cretin alongside Charles Ollivon and Grégory Alldritt. His physical presence could do good for the Blues against the Clover. Up front, this should be the only reshuffle.
Hooker Julien Marchand was hit in the head against the Italians, but he has resumed his place in training normally since Tuesday and may well wear number 2 again this weekend. “It’s going very well, he said on Tuesday. It’s true that I went out, but I could have gone back in since the protocol (concussion) had been positive. We redid a protocol 48 hours later and everything is fine, no concussion has been detected. ” He will be surrounded by Cyril Baille and Mohamed Haouas on the lawn of the Aviva Stadium.
Sheep rather than Thomas?
Within the back lines, Damian Penaud, also a substitute in Italy, also has chances of joining the starting XV. Thursday in Marcoussis, he has long evolved with the XV of the holders. The Clermontois (24 years old, 18 caps) made his return to the selection during this trip to Italy. Sunday, he could regain a starting place, and this for the first time since the defeat in Scotland in March, at the expense of Racingman Teddy Thomas, however to his advantage last weekend with two tests and an overall successful performance.
It would obviously be a strong choice. The game at the foot of the Irish, with great candles expected at the Aviva Stadium, is probably not for nothing. On the other side, the Toulonnais Gabin Villière will keep his place. For the rest, it will be classic. Antoine Dupont, elected best player of the first day of the Tournament, and Matthieu Jalibert will of course lead the game of the France team expected at the turn this weekend.
Kolingar should make up for Gros’s absence
Finally, in view of Thursday’s training session, the substitutes’ bench should also experience some retouching. Montpellier’s Anthony Bouthier, capable of helping out at the opening and at the back as he did again this morning, should be preferred to Toulon opener Louis Carbonel.
In front, the Rochelais Uini Atonio, called this week in place of Georges-Henri Colombes, could pass in front of the Toulousain Dorian Aldegheri, while at the post of left pillar Kolingar should compensate for the absence of Gros, package. At the heel, a doubt remains between Bourgarit, replacing in Italy, and Mauvaka.
The XV of France likely against Ireland:
Dulin – Penaud, Vincent, Fickou, Villière – (o) Jalibert, (m) Dupont – Ollivon (cap), Alldritt, Jelonch – Willemse, Le Roux – Haouas, Marchand, Baille