Today at the Racing Metro 92 Training Centre in Plessis-Robinson, we had the pleasure of hosting the national coaches of the French XV : Philippe Saint-André and his two assistants, Patrice Lagisquet and Yannick Bru.
Before sitting down to lunch in the 'Racing Café' (our photo), it was a chance to catch up with the Racing staff and exchange information on the current form of our Ciel et Blanc players. Especially those who are available for selection for the coming French tour to Australia. "It is always interesting to have their vision of things," admits Laurent Labit, the backs coach. "On top of that, it enables us to find out what they expect from their players, and the areas each player has to work on."
As for Philippe Saint-André, he was delighted by the visit. "It is always a pleasure to come to Racing, he said. The facilities here are magnificent, it is a club which is structuring itself well, which is progressing, and which is above all on the upwards curve in the latter stages of the TOP 14."
While expressing his disappointment at the unavailability of our captain Dimitri Szarzewski, out with an ankle injury, Saint-André confirmed that he and his fellow selectors were keeping a close eye on a number of other Racing players for the summer tour. "Dimitri is an important player for Racing and for the French XV, but he just has to recover from his injury and come back at 100% for both Racing and les Bleus," he insisted. "Otherwise, clearly there are several other Racingmen who could potentially be picked for the tour."
Sant-André will reveal his 31-man list for the Australian tour on Wednesday May 7th. So should we expect any surprises, especially amongst the Ciel et Blanc? "You will have to wait and see!" laughed Saint-André. "That's exactly why we are having on-going discussions with the two Laurents!"
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Saturday 26th August