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Willemse package, Baille holder against Australia?

The pillar of Toulouse, back from injury, should be aligned on Saturday against the Wallabies. Romain Ntamack should start at the opening and Moefana at the wing. The second-line of the MHR is forfeited.

In Marcoussis

Last adjustments before the opening of the festivities. The XV of France is calmly preparing the start of its autumn tour, Saturday (9 p.m.) against Australia, at the CNR in Marcoussis. And this Wednesday, at the end of high-intensity training, the composition of the Blues for this first test-match took shape, in the little game of bibs between holders and substitutes.

The main surprise in the composition of the Blues should come from the tenure of Cyril Baille as the left pillar. Usual holder of the position and the essential in the France team, the Toulousain wore this Wednesday the blue chasuble (that of the holders) flocked with number 1, while on Tuesday he was on the side of the substitutes.

Cyril Baille, who had surgery on his left adductor in early August, returned last Sunday to Marcoussis and only played half an hour against Bayonne on the last day of the Top 14. hecatomb at the post of left pillar (withdrawals from Jean-Baptiste Gros, injured, and Reda Wardi, suspended), the staff preferred to play the experience, preferring him to Dani Priso.

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Paul Willemse withdrawn due to thigh discomfort

Note that the second line Paul Willemse (Montpellier) is forfeited for this first match, due to a “little discomfort in the thigh”, explained Thibault Giroud, the tricolor performance director. He was absent from high-intensity training on Wednesday. In his absence, it is Thibaud Flament (Toulouse), present among the potential holders, who should be aligned at the Stade de France alongside Cameron Woki.

Against the Australians, Romain Ntamack, recently back from injury (ankle), should take his place at the opening and be associated with his usual hinge partner, Antoine Dupont, who will be the captain of the Blues for the three test matches. (Australia then, then South Africa and Japan). Matthieu Jalibert will therefore start on the bench. On the wings, in addition to the essential Damian Penaud (Clermont), Yoram Moefana (UBB) should start at the Stade de France, in the absence of Gabin Villière, injured. The versatile three-quarters, always convincing in blue, was preferred to Matthis Lebel, who should be a substitute. The staff should line up a bench with 5 forwards and three backs. With Willemse’s package, Sekou Macalou should earn a place on the substitutes’ bench.

The pair of centers should be the same as during the last Six Nations Tournament, namely Gaël Fickou (Racing 92) associated with Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle). Uncertainty nevertheless hovers for the center of Stade Rochelais since he should be a father in the coming days. He could leave the Blues at the last moment in the event of a happy event. At the back, Thomas Ramos, in sight at the start of the season with Stade Toulousain, should logically be aligned. His club partner, Melvyn Jaminet, is currently injured.

Fabien Galthié and Raphaël Ibanez, respectively coach and manager of the XV of France, will reveal Thursday at noon their team composition to challenge Australia. A first step before the shock of this month of November against the South African world champions, a week later, at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. The Blues had finished the 2021-2022 season undefeated, signing ten successes in a row, including a Grand Slam (the first since 2010) achieved in the Six Nations Tournament.

The probable composition of the XV of France:

Ramos – Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Moefana – (o) Ntamack, (m) Dupont (cap) – Ollivon, Alldritt, Jelonch – Flament, Woki – Atonio, Marchand, Baille
Substitutes: Mauvaka, Prison, Falatea, Macalou, R. Taofifenua, Lucu, Jalibert, Lebel


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