Third line Charles Ollivon will regain his status as captain of the XV of France for the tour of Japan (two tests on July 2 and 9), the French Federation announced on Tuesday. The Toulonnais (29 years old, 23 selections), who has not played with the Blues since March 2021 due to a knee injury, had until then ceded the role of captain to Toulouse Antoine Dupont.
With the scrum-half at its head, the XV of France achieved the Grand Slam at the start of the year, its first coronation in the Six Nations Tournament since 2010. Ollivon suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in June 2021. anterior left knee during a Top 14 match. He only returned to the grounds of the French Championship last March, notably missing the autumn tests, including the epic victory against the All Blacks (40 -25), then the coronation in the 2022 Tournament.
This season, the former Bayonnais has played eleven games (six in the league and five in the European Challenge), spending a total of just under 800 minutes on the pitch. In Japan, Ollivon will lead a young group (23 years old and 6 selections on average), which includes seventeen players without selection, including four Pro D2 players. With Lyon prop Demba Bamba (23, 23 caps), Clermont winger Damian Penaud (25, 32 caps) and Racing 92 center Virimi Vakatawa (29, 30 caps), he has among the most experienced of the group called to go to Japan. “Being a tour captain is a special role, especially with such a squad of 42 players,” explains Les Bleus manager Raphaël Ibanez. This requires a careful look at the group, an energy, a desire to take the friends on a 3-week human and sporting adventure, to unite towards performance. We believe that Charles exhibits all of these qualities. He accepts the mission, he has our confidence. »