“How did you prepare for this last test of the tour against Japan?
In fact, we approached this tour as the final phase of a world competition. In our mind, it’s as if we had chained quarter-final, semi-final and final. We tried to raise the level each time. We are all very proud of our first two matches against Australia (30-29) and South Africa (30-26). We want to continue to progress every day, so we prepared this last match as a final. The motivation is all found, we simply want to continue to win matches. We are on our objective, we go for it.
How do you view your Japanese opponent?
We prepared very seriously. We saw the quality of the Japanese who had a very good match against the All Blacks (who won 38-31 on October 29) a few weeks ago. They gave them a lot of problems. We are proud of what we have done, but everyone is moving forward and so are the Japanese. It forces us to constantly raise the slider. During the week, we recovered well before moving on to preparing for this match. I think we had a good week of training. We are ready.
What were the focus areas for the week?
We saw this summer (victories 42-23 and 20-15 for France) that the Japanese gave us a lot of problems in the current game. We had a lot of ball losses, especially during the second test. This is due to our mistakes but above all to the quality of the Japanese. There are therefore several sectors that we have worked on in a specific way. Everyone put a lot of involvement, we debriefed and analyzed well between those who were in Japan and those who were not. We saw a lot of energy from the Japanese, a lot of rhythm, whether in the forwards or in the three-quarters, especially in the transition between them. They are very collective players, it is their strength.
“We have players who are able to keep the ball, to adapt to a slippery ball or to a dry pitch, so that opens up possibilities”
Do you consider yourself anecdotal to become captain again after the suspension of Antoine Dupont ?
Being a captain is always a great honor. But whether you’re a player or a captain, the most important thing is to give 100%. There are many great leaders in this team, it allows us to always refocus on the collective and the objective of winning matches until the 2023 World Cup. That is what predominates.
Is the rainy weather announced this Sunday likely to change your plans?
It is not yet certain that it will be bad. We have a fixed game plan, but we also worked on a lot of scenarios during the week, as we do every week to adapt to any eventuality. We have players capable of keeping the ball, of adapting to a slippery ball or a dry pitch, so that opens up possibilities. We have a collective capable of dealing with that, and a strategy capable of opening up or closing down depending on the scenario of the match. Honestly, we will lay our foundations in the game and then we will see depending on the meeting.
Did you take time to recharge the batteries after the excess of energy against South Africa?
We had one more day of recovery in the week already, since we played on Saturday and we play again on Sunday. It’s important, because we had Sunday and Monday off before switching to the preparation for Japan. A whole day is not nothing to recuperate. We are ready for this weekend. »