She is beautiful, this blue light coming from the depths of ages. She hunts at night. We thought it had disappeared and here it is, illuminating the path of these Roosters who have once again become openers of horizons. It is certain now: when they return to the stands, the kids will experience the same thrills as their ancestors before them. We have seen the raises and hooks of Dupont, the inspirations of Ntamack, Fickou or Thomas, the tests fallen from who knows what planet during the successes against the Welsh (38-21) and the Irish (35-27) at the Stade de France in recent weeks.
We expect the same feast this Sunday in Edinburgh against Scotland. Because French Flair is back. This French talent, born in the 1960s from the pen of an English journalist both amazed and exasperated by the unpredictability of France, has resurfaced under the crampons of Fabien Galthié players.
“This gives the wrong to those who thought he was dead,” smiles Richard Pool-Jones, former international of the XV de la Rose and third line of the Stade Français and Biarritz. Today, the organization around the team is much more structured, but there are the same flashes when there is disorder. “
Fulgurances, disorder, talent… that’s all well and good, but what, exactly, is French Flair? “For me, it’s just art,” says Pool-Jones. In Cambridge, when I was a schoolboy, we played rugby then we rushed to meet the grown-ups in a pub to see these amazing Frenchies. And what best illustrates French Flair, for me, is the test of Saint-André at Twickenham in 1991. ”A hundred-meter action with prowess from Berbizier, Blanco, Lafond, Camberabero then Saint-André. “At the end of the day, we won the Grand Slam by beating the French (21-19) but nobody remembers it,” says Pool-Jones. What stood out was the test! “
A 100-meter race with a ball flowing from hand to hand
We could also cite that of Blanco, snatching victory in the semi-finals of the 1987 World Cup against Australia: nearly a hundred meters with a ball circulating from arm to arm. Or that of Sadourny, offering at the last minute success to the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland against the All Blacks in 1994. A collective masterpiece described as a trial of the century or the end of the world. Before them, there were the Boniface brothers, Gachassin, Gallion and, after them, Dominici or Bernat-Salles during the famous semi-final won against the All Blacks of Jonah Lomu in 1999… “There are only the French to score 100-meter trials by passing each other, ”said the opener of the XV de la Rose Rob Andrew.
But for Bernard Laporte, coach of the XV of France from 2000 to 2007, the French Flair does not exist. “The term stuck especially to amateur rugby, explains Marc Lièvremont, former international then coach of the Blues from 2008 to 2011. It referred to notions of inspiration, imagination, inventiveness. Today, in a well-defined framework, Fabien Galthié leaves a certain freedom to his players, who have talent for it. But there is another notion behind this expression. For the British, the French are capable of anything, to overthrow mountains, but also to fall inexplicably. We have also seen that in recent years.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr