XV of FRANCE. Why can Antoine Frisch be the number 12 that Fabien Galthié has been looking for since the World Cup?

XV of FRANCE. Why can Antoine Frisch be the number 12 that Fabien Galthié has been looking for since the World Cup?
XV of FRANCE. Why can Antoine Frisch be the number 12 that Fabien Galthié has been looking for since the World Cup?

It has been said for several months, in the bowels of the Blues and elsewhere, that this tour in Argentina will be a fantastic incubator for many talents, for the rest of Fabien Galthié’s second term. As was the trip to Australia in 2021.

It was there that Jonathan Danty, about to celebrate his 29th birthday, had gone to “look for the jersey”, as the coach of the French XV likes to say. And he has not let go of it since then, making 19 consecutive starts at number 12, barring injuries.

But all good things must come to an end and the second half of the last Six Nations Tournament may well have given an idea of ​​what could be brewing in the centre of the pitch for the Blues in the future. In the irascible professional rugby more than anywhere else, everything happens very quickly, and yesterday’s essential players can become tomorrow’s sidelined players in the blink of an eye.

In my position, there is a lot of competition with completely different profiles. Nico (Depoortère) made his debut in the Tournament, Paul Costes is having a blast with Toulouse… If they are better than me, they will sweep the old man aside and if I ever manage to get up to par, there will be a match. – Danty, for L’Equipe

Thus, the red card received by Danty and the resulting suspension had only accelerated a change that was expected in the center, the Blues’ attack being at the very least clumsy, predictable and lacking in madness since the end of the 2023 World Cup. Verdict: Nicolas Depoortère and Gaël Fickou teamed up for the last 2 (victorious) matches of the competition.

The Munster experience

But in Argentina, these two will not be on the trip. If the (very) young Darricare and Daunivucu could “match” during the week’s match against Uruguay, or Arthur Vincent and Jules Favre represent credible options. At the time of writing, it is Antoine Frisch who would hold the rope to start against the Pumas, alongside Émilien Gailleton, on Saturday.

A UFO exiled across the Channel for three years, the fault lies in a lack of opportunities in the French elite. And who will have everything to gain this summer, in the land of the asado. And this for several reasons. Already because if France sees talent swarming at number 13, this is not (at all) the case at number 12. As proof with the repositioning of Depoortère a notch closer to his fly-half last March, he who is a pure second center…

But the child from Fontainebleau was exclusively used in 13 during his two years at Munster, you say? That’s true, but the future Toulon player nevertheless has a 10/12 formation, i.e. a 5/8th profile highly sought after at the international level. Especially since the said Frisch also displays a physique (1m89 for 98kg) allowing him to lower his head if necessary…

In short, a great potential, very comfortable technically, who formed one of the best pairs of centers in Europe this season with the New Zealander Alex Nankivell. A boy who also scored 10 tries in 40 matches under the red and blue colors, became the darling of the Red Army in just a few months.

And since they say that winning at Thomond Park gives you the baggage to travel everywhere afterwards, why not dream big for the Blues? Antoine Frisch, 28, seems in any case to be reaching maturity. And to have the potential (and the profile) to do so, even though he has never played in the Top 14…



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