March 26, 2023

The second line Thibaud Flament, basic man of the XV of France, second in the Six Nations Tournament, assures in an interview with AFP that the defeat in Ireland “did good” for the Blues before the World Cup-2023.

Q: Was this match against Wales a reflection of your Tournament?

A: “It was not an easy game to tackle, we were coming out of a very big game in England, we no longer had our destiny in our hands. We had to find other motivational levers. We were sometimes very dominant, sometimes very dominated. (…) The challenge of being all the way in every match, for five matches, is very hard. We experienced it last year, it was great, but we realize that it’s not easy to do every year. It took us a bit of time to get into the Tournament. If we had played Ireland later, would we have had a better result? I I don’t know. We struggled to be very consistent.”

Q: During this Tournament, your game has been criticized a lot…

A: “What was missing above all was involvement. We weren’t quite awake yet. We can talk about the tactical, physical notion… but the reality is that we didn’t have not yet ‘switched’, we had not yet entered the competition. Playing a close match against Italy, losing in Ireland, it put us back in our place and we reminded ourselves that nothing is acquired. It did us good for the future.”

Q: Looks like you’ve grown in power.

A: “We had a hard time getting started. We were stung by the first two not completely successful matches, it was a wake-up call and it launched us for the future. These are scenarios that can occur at the Cup so it’s rewarding for the group.”

Q: A word about your great performance at Twickenham.

A: “It was a special game. I lived there for four years, it was there that I rose through the ranks of professional rugby. When I arrived, at 18, I had in mind to become a pro player so it was a bit of a flashback of everything that I lived, from the moment I arrived until where I am now It was the most emotional Marseillaise that I lived . It was really a beautiful moment. It was a match that had a lot of meaning for me.”

Q: Do you feel installed in the France team?

A: “I don’t really like this notion of installed, not installed. I feel good in the group, I feel good on the pitch. We really have a good group that works well together, that lives well, we played good matches and that’s more how I approach it. I really enjoy being here, it’s the case for everyone. It’s great what we’re experiencing.”

Q: Do you plan on the World Cup?

A: “A little bit. Not too much. It’s true that it takes up more space because, inevitably, it’s getting closer and it’s our next deadline with the France team. We have it a little bit in head but we were very focused on our matches during the Tournament. We weren’t too scattered. There, we’re starting to project ourselves a little bit, but the season is still long at club level. We’re necessarily thinking about it more and more but it’s still A bit far.”

Interview by Nicholas Mc ANALLY

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