“You are back to playing an international match after a completely white season with the France team due to your injury. What do you feel ?
It’s thrills, joy. I’m very happy to also find a slightly different group, guys I didn’t know. And then there’s the excitement of a game at Twickenham. I had never done the Barbarians before, French or British for that matter, and honestly, it’s a treat. I am fully immersed in it. It’s really 100% fun to be back at such a level for such a game. It’s been an amazing week. It’s been a long journey to come back from my last injury (left knee cruciate ligament June 5, 2021). It’s never easy, but that’s the life of a rugby player: working hard to come back to play this type of match. Today I cherish this moment of coming back to play a match at Twickenham.
How flamboyant will the game be against England?
You know the spirit of the Barbarians. In France, we are not so different in terms of mindset. Personally I love it, I love this mentality and this shirt. I think everyone here loves it. And we have to be ready for this game.
How do we experience the enormous depth that exists in all positions, and in particular in yours, in the France team, for 3 years, and which means that in each match, you must necessarily achieve a great performance?
Above all, it’s a chance to have a group endowed with so many young talents. We have to build on it, we have to write our own story with all these qualities. It’s not 23 players, it’s a larger group. We have to give everything on the pitch, including on weekdays. I think everyone inside understood that mentality, how you have to live every day.
Are you happy to play with George Kruis (the second line will retire after this game)?
(Tit for tat) Yes ! Yes ! I did not know George before meeting him during the internship in Monaco. I discovered it and after an hour we were friends. It’s easy to talk to him. I like his character and I really want to enjoy the few days with him.
Did you discuss with him how he was going to feel playing against his former team?
We talked about it, yes (Kruis passes behind him to say hello) ! He was part of this team for a long time so we were able to exchange a little bit of their group. Afterwards he is fully in the Baa Baas spirit (the nickname of the Barbarians). So we focus on us.
Behind this match, the France team will fly to Japan. What objectives have you set for this match against England with the prospect of a tour coming up just after?
Japan is a country I already know. The 2019 World Cup there is one of my best memories as a player. A roster for this tour is due to drop after the game so it’s hard for me to talk about this tour. We already have this experience to live between us, this Barbarian spirit to cultivate, so I will be better able to talk about Japan in a few days. (smile). »