Meeting at Insep, the France group, made up of 22 players, carried out their first training session on Thursday, marking the start of preparation for the competition which will take place in forty days in Australia (September 22 – 1er october).
Bronze medalists at the Tokyo Olympics then silver at the Euro last summer, the Blues have not yet set a goal. “We have ambition, there is a great desire to start, explained Toupane during a press briefing on Friday. But if you ask me my goal, give us a little time. »
An enlarged group to leave
It is undoubtedly the absences which encourage the coach of the Bleues to be cautious, and justify the choice of an enlarged group of 22 players. At the position of leader in particular, the usual holder of the position Alix Duchet is injured and Olivia Epoupa had to leave the group on Wednesday for medical reasons.
From there to breaking the dynamic started last summer? “This is a new stage in the journey of the France team. It’s the normal life of a national team ”, tempered the former glory of the Blue, Céline Dumerc (262 selections), today general manager of the selection.
As leader, the young Marine Fauthoux (21) is the most experienced with 32 selections, and could therefore join the five major. Marie Pardon, novice, was called on Thursday to replace Epoupa.
“It’s an opportunity to be able to launch other players, especially as a leader,” said Sandrine Gruda positively. For the captain of the France team, the objective of the World Cup is above all to “pass a course”.
“Get the Grail”
“Often, it is during competitions that a soul is born in a team. Character is forged with experience. It’s thanks to all that that we’re going to get the Grail (the gold medal at the next Olympics, in France, editor’s note) that we’re all waiting for.
“Paris-2024 is a little light in a corner of our heads. The condition is to prepare for immediate deadlines. Everything in its time”, however nuanced Toupane.
The France team will face Bosnia and Herzegovina in Marseille on August 21 in preparation matches, then Belgium twice: in Pau on September 2 then in Kortrijk on September 4, before flying to Australia, where three other friendly encounters will await him before the start of the competition on September 22 against the Australian hosts.