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XV of France: “All dreams are allowed,” says Marc Lièvremont

He was the last three-color coach to win in Wales and have fielded three wins in the same tournament. It was in 2010 and the Blues had then won the Grand Slam. Marc Lièvremont is no longer alone now. He was joined by Fabien Galthié and his troop, whose success this Saturday in Cardiff (27-23) opens wide the doors of the wildest hopes. The former international, now a consultant for Canal +, is impressed by the new generation and considers the Grand Slam to be within reach.

What does this victory in Cardiff inspire in you?

MARC LIÈVREMONT. What I remember most is the maturity that this team has shown in a difficult context. She set the pace at the start of the match, she never panicked. She resisted when she was dominated.

Do you have any particular players?

The hinge showed a lot of control. Dupont was perhaps a little more at the service of the collective this time. There are excellent soldiers everywhere. The second lines Willemse and Le Roux had a big game.

Cardiff, February 22. Paul Willemse's joy after the victory over the Welsh./AFP/GEOFF CADDICK
Cardiff, February 22. Paul Willemse’s joy after the victory over the Welsh./AFP/GEOFF CADDICK

What is the significance of this success?

Symbolically, it is very strong. End this losing streak in Wales and continue with a third straight win. Come to think of it, it’s crazy, it’s been ten years since this happened. What is crazy is that this team is very young. It is built in victory, it is ideal. I very much appreciate the speech of Captain Charles Ollivon, all in humility, firmness and determination.

Do you think about the Grand Slam?

We have to. Besides, the players and the staff are also thinking about it. I have been there. So, of course, we can always talk about a trap match in Scotland ( Editor’s note: March 8 ) or against Ireland (Editor’s note: March 14 at the Stade de France), but you just have to avoid getting burnt out by saying that it is there, that it is done. However, I don’t think it can happen to this team because it learns very quickly. She has already erased all the small faults seen against Italy ( Editor’s note: 35-22 two weeks ago ).

Are there any downsides though?

We must not sulk our pleasure. The Blues have made a big blow against the Welsh. The frustration of eliminating in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Japan against Wales ( Editor’s note: 20-19 October 20 ) has turned into a positive dynamic.

Can the Blues win the World Cup in 2023?

It is the objective. Achieving the Grand Slam in the first year would send a strong signal to the rest of the world, especially since this team has room for improvement. She is young, made up in part of world champions under the age of twenty who are used to winning. And there was the strong choice of the staff to dismiss some thirty-something who, them, especially knew the taste of the defeat. All dreams are allowed.

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