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the Blues hope to quench their thirst for the title against the Scots

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                French rugby players can win the Six Nations Tournament on Friday March 26, under three conditions: beat Scotland, register at least four tries to get a bonus point and win with more than 20 points difference.  A major challenge that can allow this talented group to win a first consecration.

                                    <p><span><span><span><span><span>Raphael Ibanez celebrating, with arms outstretched towards the sky, a large victory for the Blues over the</span></span></span><span><span><span>Scotland </span></span></span><span><span><span>at the Stade de France.  This scene has already occurred in 2007, when he was captain of the Blues and the France team managed to beat the Scots with a difference of 27 points (46-19).  He then needed at least 24. And this final gap had allowed the XV of France to win the Six Nations Tournament with the difference in points ahead of Ireland.</span></span></span></span></span>

Fourteen years later, Raphael Ibanez will be in the stands at the Stade de France on Friday evening to follow the match between France and Scotland, a meeting initially scheduled for February 28 and postponed due to a cluster within of the France group. Ibanez, now manager of the Blues, notably participated in the management of this delicate Covid-19 file.

He played an important role again this week by passing on his experience with the Blues. He was able to give them valuable advice as they approach a match that is not enough to win.

To succeed in winning first place in the final ranking of the Six Nations Tournament in front of Wales, the French must meet three conditions: win against Scotland; with an offensive bonus point (granted for 4 registered trials) and with a difference of more than 20 points.

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The gap in the score will be in the heads until the final whistle. “With this additional data, it is inevitably much more difficult to manage”, explains to France 24 the former third international line Serge Betsen. The old one “shears” of the XV of France was him too on the lawn of the Stade de France on March 17, 2007. And if he remembers having often watched the score on the electronic scoreboard, he does not really know who was responsible for doing the accounts within the team.

“There are necessarily players more lucid than others. We had the messages of coaches who kept us in the loop. The important thing is especially not to take the lead and not want to do too much “, explains Serge Betsen. The Blues will therefore have to be careful not to rush too much against the Scots on Friday. “The more they have control over what want to do, the more there will be serenity on the ground “, analysis the old international by insisting on respect for the framework put in place this week by the coaches.

“A generation of uninhibited players”

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Five changes were made by coach Fabien Galthié for the match against the XV of thistle, after the victory full of panache against Wales (32-30), last Saturday : Romain Ntamack takes the place at the opening of Matthieu Jalibert, injured against the Welsh, Arthur Vincent that of Teddy Thomas, Anthony Jelonch replaces Dylan Cretin in the third row and the new second row will be composed of Bernard Leroux and Swan Rebbadj, for the first time holder with the Blues.

Fabien Galthié took advantage of the announcement of the composition to remind that Friday’s opponent did not come to the Stade de France. “Scotland can no longer play for the title, but they can still finish second in this competition, which would be their best ranking since their last title in 1999,” he said on Wednesday.

To try to bend them, the French players will count on a significant capital confidence gained during their match against the Welsh, a meeting they won at the last minute on a try marked by the back Brice Dulin, designated man of the match. They showed incredible self-sacrifice during the last 10 minutes, when they were down by 10 points.

This success testifies to the strength of this character of this group, determined not to let go until the end. In a speech filmed by the French Rugby Federation before the match against the Welsh, captain Charles Ollivon had also announced the color to his teammates: “They are not going to give us the Reds. […] We’re going to go get it. But we are ready for that “, launches in this video the” prince “Charles to his subjects gathered in the locker room.

“This is a generation of uninhibited players, who are not afraid and know their strengths. They know exactly what they want”, assures Serge Betsen, who had the opportunity to spend time with them during the Autumn Cup in London.

Installed in England for ten years, Serge Betsen relies on this group to protect it from sarcasm and criticism against the XV of France that he has heard a lot in the recent past across the Channel. “I can already see the difference. I think the world of Anglo-Saxon rugby has realized that these French players have a lot of talent,” he analyzes. And the final victory in the 2021 Tournament would allow them to begin to forge a glorious track record.


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