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“The XV of France needs to capitalize on confidence against Italy”

Couple David Reyrat

Published 6 minutes ago, Updated now

The Toulouse native François Cros. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP

The third row of the XV of France returned, this Wednesday, to the state of mind of the Blues after their first two outings which were hardly reassuring during this Six Nations Tournament.

In Marcoussis

What state of mind are you in before this match against Italy?
François Cros : We can’t wait until Sunday. We are happy with our result in Scotland, but we want to free ourselves, to have an even more successful match and to continue to improve. We have seen some interesting things but we are not yet completely liberated in our game. The priority is to continue to move forward. We put things in place against Scotland. Now we have to continue to build this confidence to play more freely, without asking too many questions. We are not going to reinvent anything but continue to work in the direction we have wanted since the start of this Tournament. We need to capitalize on trust.

The French team was dominant a year ago. Did the elimination in the quarter-finals of the World Cup get the better of your confidence?
The first match of the Tournament against Ireland did not comfort us. Trust is very hard to obtain and can crumble quickly. But there is no urgency. We didn’t lose our confidence, otherwise we wouldn’t have taken it to Scotland. Above all, we must manage to find automatisms, if the word trust poses a problem for you (smile).

During the 2023 Tournament, in Rome, you struggled to beat Italy and, six months later, at the World Cup, you swept them 60 to 7. What makes the difference between these two scenarios?
During the World Cup, we knew that this match was decisive for qualification. All the ingredients were therefore in place for it to work, especially against a tired Italian team who had taken a few blows to the head. There, their state of freshness will be different. We know that they will offer us a lot of commitment and great intensity from the start. It’s up to us to respond now.

I don’t feel tired or exhausted.

How do you feel physically?
Physically, we are all well. I was lucky enough to take three weeks off after the World Cup. It did me good. I then took the time to build up my strength. I don’t feel tired or exhausted.

Grégory Alldritt withdraws, you are repositioned in the center of the third line while you play more often in 6…

No worries if I start in 8. This happens to me in clubs, even if I’m less used to it than in 6 actually. It’s a position that I like. The preparation is the same, there are just a few adaptations on the ground. But, in Toulouse, I rotate regularly in this position, even if I have more references in the third wing line, it’s true.

Comments collected at a press conference


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