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‘No one is satisfied’ with underwhelming France campaign – Fabien Galthie

09 Mar 2024 2 minute read
France head coach Fabien Galthie.

Head coach Fabien Galthie readily accepts that France “are not at the level we want to be”, as his side prepares to face Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.

During what has proved to be a spluttering Guinness Six Nations campaign, Les Bleus have lost to Ireland and drawn with Italy, while claiming a scratchy victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

They will arrive at the Principality Stadium showing eight changes to the side held in Lille by Italy, including Test debuts for full-back Leo Barre, centre Nicolas Depoortere and lock Emmanuel Meafou.

Barre takes over from Thomas Ramos, who moves to fly-half instead of an injured Matthieu Jalibert, with Depoortere replacing a suspended Jonathan Danty and Meafou preferred to Posolo Tuilagi.

Unbeaten streak

Elsewhere, captain and number eight Gregory Alldritt returns after injury as France defend a four-game unbeaten Six Nations record against Wales.

“The results are not what we wanted, now what we wished for. We will be better soon,” France head coach Galthie said.

“We are not satisfied, no one is. We have high expectations of ourselves, and we are not at the level we want to be.

“I am convinced in the strength of people and their character, individually and collectively.

“Right now, the team we will play is a young, brave Welsh team. They have always had pure talent.”

Positional switch

Ramos’ positional switch has come with Jalibert and Romain Ntamack sidelined, while Nolann Le Garrec also features in a new half-back partnership that will be key to victory hopes.

Galthie added: “He (Ramos) has played a lot at 10 since the World Cup in important games with Toulouse. He has been among the best 10s in France.

“With how we play, when you are at 15 you are often asked to step up into the 10 slot. He has been a second 10 in our system.

“He is mature and we know his qualities. It is a coherent choice to give him this responsibility.

“(Le Garrec) has been very good with Racing, and with us for three years during training.”

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