Even if the return of the Premium to face Namibia will not be confirmed until Tuesday, attack coach Laurent Labit did not seek to deny this choice.
You seem to have chosen to recall your “Premium” players for this match against Namibia. Was this planned in your plan or did the Uruguay match force you to modify it?
No, it was always planned that way. We need to work, to play too. We knew the schedule, with this opening match against New Zealand which was important without being decisive. This match generated stress for months and years. The fact that we won this match, with six days of rest before the match against Uruguay, allowed us to rotate for the second match. Now, after the Namibia match, we will have two weeks to prepare for the Italy match. The players who were lined up for the opening match could not go a month without playing.
Does the performance displayed against Uruguay by the players ultimately facilitate your management and the management of the competition?
No not at all. We all came away disappointed and frustrated from this match. This is valid for the 33 players and the staff. We are all responsible for copying this match.
Can we fear problems of cohesion within the group, which certain players give up if they are not more concerned?
No not at all. We have always operated this way. Usually, there are always 14 players who go to their club on Wednesday evening. In this World Cup, everyone stays together. The break is therefore less significant. All the players are important to us, even if from now on there will be less turnover. But we don’t know what could happen between the poor performances of some or possible injuries.
Cyril Baille and Jonathan Danty should return for the Namibia match. What will they bring?
They need to find competition and rhythm again. We took the time to prepare them. We could have brought them into the Uruguay match but we preferred to wait.
Louis Bielle-Biarrey should also start against Namibia. Has he passed Gabin Villière in your hierarchy?
Louis did not pass Gabin. We rely on one as much as the other. We played six matches, Gabin played four. We also want to distribute the players’ playing time well. We know very well what Gabin can bring us in very high-level matches. He has proven it for a long time. But we want to give an opportunity to Louis, who has a different profile, in a match where we hope to find space on the outside. But there is no established classification between Gabin and Louis.
Anthony Jelonch should also be reappointed. Did it give you satisfaction against Uruguay?
He was where we expected him to be, true to who he is. We wanted to know how he was going to digest the match. His knee is doing very well. For us, it was obvious to chain him to see how he will react. And as I said, we will have two more weeks to work with him before the match against Italy.