Published on 12 January 2023
Last stage of 6 vs 6 before the final round in Sarcelles ! This tournament of the Arvernes looks like a big repetition with multiple stakes for the participating teams.
The Big Four will be present in pool A. For the first time since the beginning of the league, Dinan, Fontenay, Moirans and Rennes will take part in the same stage. Some exciting matches are expected ! Dinan and Rennes are third in the general ranking with 23 pts and could take the first rank depending on the result of the current leader, Pessac, who will be present in Clermont. Except for Tom Pitchforth and François Tassel, the winning team from the Round 1 of Division 1 is back with the addition of U24 player Hugo Moal. Unlike the Tournoi des 2 Tours, where the team was composed of young players like Nolan Renier and Matteo Mauny, Rennes brings out the big team. Nicolas Merlier, Raphael Ginsbourger and Anthony Rocha will be reinforcing the winning team of the last stage. As usual, Moirans is not far behind. Fifth, four points behind the Bretons, they will have to finish in front of them to come back to the same position in the ranking. Only Romuald Piaser is missing from the team that finished second in the Le Puy-en-Velay stage behind Dinan. To finish the quatuor, Fontenay which will have to do without Florent Véronese (injury), otherwise the team which participated in the first round of D1 is 100% reunited.
Alongside these four teams, there is the leader Pessac, the only team to have played two stages with Pontoise. The Girondins will have to deal with a reduced squad of only seven players, with the absences of Adrien Barbeau, Guillaume Caruel and Jérémy Lecomte. It is difficult to imagine Pessac retaining first place at the end of this stage. Nantes will change its squad compared to the stage in La Rochelle. Four new players will join the team : the British James Christen and Dan Parsloe (joker) as well as Damien Favreau and Charles Stinglhamber from Lille. A big turnover has been made as they replace five players, including Edouard Coutel and Samuel Noirault. Initially a member of Pool B, the Squale Team will be in Pool A for this stage. Against the big teams of the group A of D1, the weekend may be difficult for this team which has to deal with the absence of several leaders including Mathieu Voyemant and the Colombian Santiago Cobaleda.
In pool B, there will also be a high level of competition. Hyères, double winners in Montpellier and La Rochelle and first of the ranking with 46 points. The recent D3 champion arrives with confidence for this competition. A few changes are noteworthy with the absences of Bastien Muller, John Crolotte and Corentin Beunet, replaced by Clément Chaillant and Solène Marchaison. Four points behind, we find the French Elite women’s team. As solid as ever, the winners of the Velay stage will be keen to take their revenge on the team that beat them in La Rochelle and, why not, make a move for the first place. At home, Ndead clearly has a chance to win. Last year’s finalists, Clermont will have to do without their Masters players Damien Chesné and Fabienne Courtial. To replace them, Ndead will be able to count on international referee Alexandre Fuster, who will play his first stage as a player.
Behind this leading trio, Lagny and Lyon. The Latignacians are coming out of a disappointing stage in La Rochelle and are therefore a bit behind in the rankings. Further down the league table, Vulcans is the only team to have only played one stage. An interesting squad with a lot of young players like Jules Ducas, Lancelot Racine, Louis Steffen … Only Théo Le Borgne, Marco Merlotti and Louis Steffen were part of the team that finished second in the first stage in Montpellier. There is a new arrival in pool B, Clamart. The ninth-placed team in D1 last season was already present last season and finished fourth. Still led by captain Alexis Sourbet, Clamart could well be a contender at this stage.
French Elite Women
Five teams will be in league mode in Pool C. The Baby Girls, leaders in the general ranking, can increase their advantage if they win. The players led by their captain Laurine Gueho are 17 points ahead of the Master Females, their first opponents since Dinan is not playing. The Master Women will be in world championship mode as the decision concerning the team that will go to Australia will be taken at the end of this competition. The intensity will be high ! Three points behind the Masters, Le Chesnay whose squad will be remastered to compensate the absence of several players, including Nathalie Mathieu and Gwenaelle Choisnard. The Belgians Nathalie Meessen (Les Rascasses) and Laurie Verheyen (Diderot XII) will join the Galatées for this tournament, as will Julie Beaupère, who was absent in Puy-en-Velay. Deeper in the ranking, we find the two Ile-de-France teams, Neuilly-Clamart and Lagny, who will probably fight for the honorary spots.
Equipe de France Master Féminine
Neuilly – Clamart