Fabien Gathié, the coach of the Blues had to deal with some major packages when announcing this Thursday the team that will face Italy on Saturday in Rome (3:15 p.m.), at the opening of the Six Nations Tournament. In the absence of the opener Romain Ntamack (jaw), the three-quarter center Virimi Vakatawa (knee), and the third row François Cros (foot), the staff of the XV of France trusted the Bordeaux native Matthieu Jalibert, in Montpellier Arthur Vincent and Lyonnais Dylan Cretin.
Third line center Gregory Alldritt, who has trained normally this week, is fit, although he underwent arthroscopy on his right knee early last week.
Despite the return of Clermontois Damian Penaud within the group, the coach has bet on the duo Teddy Thomas and Gabin Villière with wings. The 25-year-old Toulonnais, brilliant during his first two selections against Italy and England in November and December, has therefore won his place of holder. “Gabin went to get his selection, it was not us who gave it to him,” explains Fabien Galthié. As for Teddy Thomas, he brings us his qualities of speed, of scorer. Damian, he returns with all the potential we know him. But there is a lot of emulation, it is very difficult to join this team, that’s why he is replacing. “
At the back, Brice Dulin, sparkling this fall (he was named best player in the Autumn Nations Cup in which the Blues reached the final, only beaten by England 22-19 after extra time at Twickenham), was preferred to Anthony Bouthier. “It is the best who play,” asserts Galthié.
The Habs are favorites in this Tournament where they will also travel to Ireland (February 14), host Scotland (February 28), travel to England (March 13) and host Wales (March 20).
Dulin – Thomas, Vincent, Fickou, Villière – (o) Jalibert, (m) Dupont – Ollivon (cap.), Alldritt, Cretin – Willemse, Le Roux – Haouas, Marchand, Baille. Alternates: Bourgarit, Gros, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Jelonch, Serin, Carbonel, Penaud.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr