A year since the star scrum half started each selection crowned with this function of team boss. A state of affairs that could soon be called into question.
Who will be captain of the XV of France in November? After a perfect season, finished with no faults, the staff of the Blues will have to decide between Charles Ollivon and Antoine Dupont for the fall tour.
Landing in Japan, Ollivon, the third line of Toulon (29 years old, 25 caps), regained his status, abandoned due to injury to Dupont, the scrum half of Toulouse (25 years old, 40 caps), the year past.
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Will this still be the case in the fall, when the Blues face world champions South Africa, Australia, the last team to beat France, or Japan, who caused so much hassle? on this tour? Because the interim has been successfully assured: just named best player in the world, Dupont guided his Blues to a historic success against the All Blacks (40-25) in November then the Grand Slam, the first since 2010, a few months later.
Back in Blue for the summer tour, “the great Charles” has logically become the captain again, a role given to him by coach Fabien Galthié at the start of his term in 2020. To remain so, he will have to find his place in the third line. while the trio formed by Anthony Jelonch, Grégory Alldritt and François Cros did more than ensure.
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The competition promises to be tough in this sector as Dylan Cretin and Yoan Tanga push for a place. In the meantime, Ollivon relishes. “It’s a pride to return to the France team, to be part of this group”, he then explained, barely found his stripes. Because Ollivon, injured in a knee, had to give up his role for sixteen months. He got it back this summer, with Dupont being rested after a long season.
First appointed captain of the British Barbarians, during a real lesson inflicted on England (52-21) at Twickenham, Ollivon remained with the Blues on the other side of the world. “This week with the Baabaas was important for me because I was able to find my bearings within the team. It was a good springboard, a good launching pad for Japan. We then went to Marcoussis and not A lot of benchmarks also came back, quickly, for everyone. This preparation was important, “said the Toulonnais again.
After more than a year without the former Bayonnais, the management of the Blues is in the heart of the matter: he will have to choose if he renews his confidence in Ollivon or if he leaves it definitively to Dupont, once his holidays completed. In Japan, Ollivon did not really shine. He fulfilled his missions, being precious by his tackles or by stealing balls in touch, but without bringing any real added value. Solid if not shiny.
“A different style”
“He’s great,” says Thibaud Flament. “I didn’t know him, only on the pitch when I played against him. He’s a great guy, he knows how to talk to the group, feels things, he knows what to say, both tactically and humanly” .
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“He is very, very good, as Antoine Dupont had been very good. There are several leaders in the group, it does not come from just one person and that is what is good”, adds the Toulousain. “Antoine and Charles are different, it’s a different style. Both are really great: it went really well, with one as with the other. We’re really lucky to have these two people in our group”, concludes Flament. To be continued, then.