Friday, September 29, 2023

Rugby World Cup 2023 – France’s XV – William Servat: “We cannot maintain the same level of tension throughout an entire competition”

Rugby World Cup 2023 – France’s XV – William Servat: “We cannot maintain the same level of tension throughout an entire competition” Sent before the microphones to discuss the return of the executives against Namibia, the mastermind of the French scrum spoke of the difficulties experienced by the French XV against Uruguay, insisting at the same time on the need to gain strength quickly.

How did you digest this “failed” match against Uruguay?

First of all I want to say here all my respect for this Uruguayan team. So, we must admit that we have, whether we like it or not, old remains of French players. We have talented players, capable of winning a World Cup opener against New Zealand, and who prepared Uruguay in a slightly different way. It’s like in boxing: sometimes we meet brave, courageous opponents, who can defend themselves even if we are stronger, but less focused… And that’s what happened against Uruguay. Of course, we didn’t get our game together, but that’s almost a good thing. We are Latin, but we know the quality of our players. We know where we are and we have in mind that two victories in the next games will allow us to build our World Cup as we wish.

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We thought this team wouldn’t experience the same ups and downs as its predecessors…

I remember an opening match of the World Cup that didn’t go so well… Maybe there was some satisfaction for having negotiated that match well, it’s simply human. Uruguay put in order our ideas regarding combat, which is the basis for doing great things. Rugby is still a sport of collective combat and when we adopt this philosophy we can do great things. We saw it again with Uruguay. But today we want to move forward.

Are you worried about the difficulties of your defense?

Preparations are refined until the last moment. We placed emphasis on sectors other than defense, the teams also analyzed us well. Also, I think New Zealand is not so bad in attack… This team has found keys but there is no danger in the matter. We have been certain about our work for four years.

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Beyond the defense, the content is quite poor, with difficulties in chaining game times…

We want to create more games. Not long ago, after the November 2022 testing, you found us too restrictive. Today we are judged by other sectors. We try to develop our game so that when the important games approach we are ready. Namibia will be a transitional stage in construction for us. We must ensure that we are as well prepared as possible to face Italy and negotiate the following matches well.

To what extent did the match against Uruguay influence your composition for Namibia, taking into perspective the massive return of the coaches?

We discuss compositions daily to try to be judicious and fair in our choices. We never talk about the composition of a game before playing the next, perhaps out of superstition. But in this case, decisions were made quickly. We have a common desire to gain strength.

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You mentioned the “Latin” side of the blues in the preamble. Should we be worried?

When we have played, we always tend to remember only the great memories. Sometimes I say it smiling at the players: I am one of those who lost against Italy with the French team, at a time when this team was far from its current level. Simply because we had meetings before the game and we hadn’t prepared in the best way possible at that time. Regarding Uruguay, I think we had prepared well for this match, but it is normal and human for the players to relax. When you’ve spent weeks, months, or even years preparing for a game, it’s hard to move on to the next. I don’t think we can maintain the same level of tension throughout an entire competition if we want it to be overcome at any given moment.

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