Six Nations Tournament: “This is only the beginning of the story”, promises Galthié

In addition to the players of the XV of France, Fabien Galthié is one of the big winners of the 2020 edition of the Six Nations Tournament concluded with a convincing victory over Ireland (35-27), Saturday at the Stade de France. The coach has managed to put a tricolor rugby back on track for success that we had not experienced at such a party for a long time.

Are you satisfied despite this second place?

FABIEN GALTHIÉ. We are satisfied because we have just followed up with a convincing victory against Ireland with the offensive bonus. It’s a team that had beaten us eight times in the last nine meetings. We are also satisfied, because we finish first tied with England, with 18 points. But we are a little disappointed because, on the goal average, we are second. In our time, we would have been first because it was done on a particular goal average. Too bad.

Before the Tournament, would you have signed for this second place?

Our goal is to win matches quickly. We did this by winning five out of six matches (Editor’s note: including the friendly preparatory match against Wales in preparation). Winning titles, that we did not do. We finished first, but England won the Tournament… Overall, we are very satisfied with what we’ve been through. But this is only the beginning of the story.

What did you like about this match against Ireland?

We have the chance to play rugby in a particular context. We had a kind of responsibility towards all the rugby fans who can no longer play… We had the feeling that we had a somewhat more specific mission than usual. And then, the fact that the team was present at the meeting, this sixth meeting for a new team. We were able to respond still present, in a different context, facing a different opponent, with different problems… We are a young team, but we managed to put 35 points to a team which, for a few years, dominates the world rugby. It’s a team that has proven to be competitive.

A word on the Antoine Dupont-Romain Ntamack hinge…

You’ve talked about it a lot already (smile). In building our team, our game, it is important to have a collective experience, which is very different at this level of competition. It’s players, like the team, who learn on every ride. They are very comfortable in animation, they have grown a lot during this competition. They have a lived experience that has become denser. And they end, like the whole team, with a feeling of progress, of success. Of joy at times. We are very happy with our hinge.

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