He is his logical replacement. Matthieu Jalibert will be the opening half of the XV of France on Sunday (4:15 p.m.) in Scotland in the absence of the usual number 10 Romain Ntamack, forfeit due to a thigh injury. This is the first time in the Galthié era that the young 22-year-old Union Bordeaux-Bègles player will start a meeting, here the first real Blues in this autumn Nations Cup after a success on the green carpet against Fiji.
Two and a half years after a first selection against Ireland, ended prematurely with a partial rupture of the posterior ligament of the left knee, Jalibert is offered an opportunity to shine as a holder. Entered into play during the first four games of the Tricolores in the Six Nations Tournament this winter, he has not worn the jersey of the XV of France since the setback at Murrayfield (28-17) in March. Launched in the eighth minute after the exit on concussion of Ntamack, Jalibert had disappointed, at fault on the first try of the Scots.
The “finishers” rewarded
The number 10 position is not the only position whose Sunday incumbent is changed due to physical glitches. At the back and in the third row, Thomas Ramos and Dylan Cretin replace Anthony Bouthier and François Cros, respectively, in the infirmary.
The staff of the Blues have chosen to rotate in the forwards to reward the usual substitutes, baptized “finishers” by Galthié and the manager of the Blues, Raphaël Ibañez. In the front row, the Baille-Marchand-Haouas trio thus gives way to the Bamba-Chat-Gros triplet. Same logic in the second row, where Romain Taofifenua will start in place of Paul Willemse.
Finally, Teddy Thomas finds his place on the wing, which puts Gaël Fickou back in the center and sends Arthur Vincent back to the bench. In all, it is more than half of the XV aligned during the success against Ireland that has been changed. With the mission of going to take revenge on the lawn of the only team to have dominated the Blues in 2020.
The starting XV: Ramos – Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Rattez – (o) Jalibert, (m) Dupont – Ollivon (cap.), Alldritt, Cretin – Taofifenua, Le Roux – Bamba, Chat, Gros.
Substitutes: Baille, Marchand, Haouas, Willemse, Woki, Couilloud, Carbonel, Vincent.
Coach Fabien Galthié cannot maintain the group he set up during the Six Nations Tournament interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, beyond three games per player, in accordance with the agreement between the Federation and the League . In this context, the Blues will present a new face to face Italy on Saturday November 28 and an opponent to be determined the following weekend.
The 31 Forwards: Kolingar, Neti, Aldegheri, Atonio, Oz, Mauvaka, Baubigny, Bourgarit, Geraci, Rebbadj, Pesenti, Cazeaux, Woki, Macalou, Jelonch, Camara, Sanconnie. Rear: Serin, Couilloud, Jalibert, Carbonel, Delbouis, Klemenczak, Barraque, Moefana, Lebel, Raka, Villière, Thomas, Cordin, Dulin.