As a great way to learn about how other countries view their teams (and give you the edge in forthcoming pub discussions) we set a select group of Rugby bloggers the task of putting forward 5 reasons why their team will win The World Cup.
In this post Adrien from Sud Rugby tells us why France will win the World Cup
French Flair – Spirit of contradiction – Boldness
All of the French players remaining in the Top 14 have had their shot with “Les Bleus” since Marc Lievremont was named as national coach. It was part of an evil plan to avoid our opponents understanding our strategy – even the French media and fans have troubles understanding it.
France is famous for its ability to beat any team in the world during a game. But now, after losing against Italy during the last Six Nations tournament, we also have the ability to lose against any team! The coach’s speeches for three years has been to develop a pragmatic approach of the game close the English one. But boldness is part of French blood and the famous flair can make us win a game against an opponent previously deemed “unbeatable”.Simple Stats
No official statistics here because the performance of “Les Bleus” in the past World Cups are too irregular to calculate something credible! But we have got a proverb in France saying “Jamais deux sans trois” which approximately means that if event occured two times, it will happened a third time as well. As we beat the All Blacks only twice in the knockout stage, we still have an opportunity that could only take place in the final. In the same idea, our nemesis England that we might face in the quarters has already defeated us three times (1991, 2003 & 2007), so this year will be our turn.
Aggression & Vice
Although rugby has now been a professional sport for 15 years, our players have been bred since their young years with respect for historical tradition of French rugby. With the absence of Sebastien Chabal, our opponents thought they have gotten rid of the most violent French rugby player. But we all know that Caveman is only spectacular in videos and that Pape, Barcella, Szarzewski or Harinordoquy (ask James Horwill) have the potential to do as well as Richard Dourthe in 1999.
And to impress, it is still possible to trigger “une générale” at any time – these all-in fights are our ultimate secret.
Ze Scrum & Ze Defence
The scrum has always been part of any French team tactics and it has always been important that French props dominate their opponents. Props unions were created a long time ago to transmit the legacy of the ancient. But since 2008 this scrummaging science has entered in the modern era with the creation by Thales and the forward coach Didier Retière of a device that can mimic the best packs in the world (see video right).
If we only have one weapon, the scrum is this one and the depth of players is impressive, the non-selection of Sylvain Marconnet is the perfect example. Retière’s work for three years can be seen as well in defense where, with David Ellis, he has managed to build a powerful, aggressive and above all regular pack.
Le Stade Toulousain is the most renowed French team in the rugby world and it is the same for its manager Guy Novès. Toulouse players are respected for their success in the Heineken Cup. Luckily, the contingent of Guy Noves’ players present in “Les Bleus” squad is important, primarily in key positions. Thierry Dusautoir is the captain, William Servat is leading the scrum and our back three Vincent Clerc, Maxime Medard and Cedric Heymans is unpredictable. But of course, we still don’t know what to think about David Skrela!