The kickoff of the 111th Crunch, fifth and final match for the Blues in this 2024 Six Nations Tournament, will be given this Saturday at 9 p.m. at Groupama Stadium, in Décines, in the Lyon suburbs. This meeting is broadcast live on France 2, with comments from Matthieu Lartot and Dimitri Yachvili. It can also be followed on, commented by expert Quentin Marchal. This meeting will be refereed by the Australian Angus Gardner, assisted by the Georgian Nika Amashukeli and the Argentinian Damian Schneider. Welshman Ben Whitehouse is in charge of the TMO.

The coach had to wait for his 49th match at the head of the French XV to renew the same 23 players from one match sheet to another. All of the winners from Wales will indeed face England this Saturday evening in Lyon. A first for Fabien Galthié. To find a trace of such a statistic, we had to go back to the 2019 Six Nations Tournament. Jacques Brunel had renewed all the winners for Scotland (27-10) during the 3rd day of the competition for the trip to Dublin (defeat 26-14).

The XV of France has already played six matches in Lyon. For a mixed record of three victories and three defeats. The first dates back to April 26, 1953 and a success against Italy, 22-8. Victory again on October 19, 1975 against Argentina 29-6. On October 17, 1992, the Blues lost for the first time in Lyon, against South Africa, 15-20. The Springboks won again in the capital of Gaul five years later, 32-36. Another defeat, on November 11, 2006, against New Zealand. A 47 to 3 rout. We will have to wait until October 6, 2023, and the France-Italy in the group stage of the World Cup, to see the Blues finally return to success in Lyon, 60 to 7.

The French XV have won their last three matches played at home against England (2018, 2020 and 2022). The last victory of the XV de la Rose in France dates back to 2016 (21-31), a Grand Slam for the subjects of King Charles III. On the French side, only Gaël Fickou (starter) and Uini Atonio (substitute) were on the pitch at the Stade de France. There are five survivors on the English side: Dan Cole, Joe Marler, Maro Itoje, Danny Care and George Ford.

Also read: XV of France: Nolann Le Garrec, the heir of Antoine Dupont

The Racing 92 center will honor his 90th selection this Saturday under the blue jersey. His first was eleven years ago to the day, on March 16, 2013 against Scotland, taking over from Mathieu Bastareaud. A year later, on February 1, 2014, also coming on in the 75th minute, Gaël Fickou scored the winning try. The first of his 16 tries with the French XV (he scored two during this 2024 Tournament). At almost 30 years old (March 26), the native of Var joins Olivier Magne in 5th place among the most capped players, behind Serge Blanco (93), Raphaël Ibanez (98), Philippe Sella (111) and Fabien Pelous (118). ). However, he will not be the oldest tricolor on the pitch this Saturday evening, since Romain Taofifenua honored his first selection on June 16, 2012.

Since 2000 and the integration of Italy, the French XV has never completed a Tournament in an even year without the slightest victory in three home matches. With a defeat against Ireland in Marseille and a draw against Italy in Lille, the risk of a fanny in France therefore looms over this Crunch. The last time that the Blues did not win a single home match was in 1999 with two defeats at the Stade de France against the Welsh (33-34) then Scotland (22-36).