Patrice Lajesquet and Portugal against the wall

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The Portuguese national team, who was trained by former international and France XV coach Patrice Lajesquet, is training in Tarbes, from Friday to next Sunday, in order to prepare for the replay tournament in Dubai for the 2023 World Cup.

Suffice it to mention the name of Patrice Lajesquet, the current coach of Portugal, for some colleagues, who are graying the scalp, that’s right, to exclaim in a trembling voice: “My idol, he was a great player!” Because, yes, in his time (just under 20s, etc.), Aviron Bayonnais’ then Olympic Biarritz left winger thrilled the crowds with his insane sprints, splitting the air to score class tries. He also provided the good times for the French national team by compiling 46 selections, from 1983 to 1991 he was a finalist of the 1987 World Cup and winner of the 5 Nations Championship in 1988 by being named top scorer of the tournament.

After a stellar career as a club coach and with the French XV, Malak El Zawia tried to set himself a new challenge by taking the reins of the Portuguese national team in 2019.

Expelled from the regular qualifying stage, in Dubai in November, Lusitanos will travel to try to hang in the replay tournament against Hong Kong (match on November 6), Kenya (November 11) and the United States (November 18). ) Last place for the 2023 World Cup.

Three days in Tarbes to prepare for Dubai

This means that the tenacity training session in Tarbes from Friday to next Sunday is of great importance: “With the Portuguese selection we are in a process that can allow us to qualify for the World Cup by participating in the last tournament. This training in Tarbes is important because we have a group of 40 players They participate in the Portuguese Championship but also about fifteen elements that develop in France, mainly in Pro D2 and National. For us, it is important that we come together to regain our momentum. “

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And about OS Lobos, there are many predictions: “There is enthusiasm about this Portuguese team on the part of the Portuguese people and those who live in France. We must not forget that in 2007 the Portuguese community mobilized to support his team in the World Cup and we hope that it will happen in the same way, if we can from qualifying for 2023 in France”, in the words of the coach.

Expect Vincent Pinto

To do this, Patrice Lagisquet has a group of 40 players where the competition is intense, especially in his favored position of wing three-quarters where there are players such as the young winger from Béziers Raffaele Costa Stori author of 5 tries in 3 matches and, also, winger of the Pau department, Vincent Pinto, champion The World Under-20s in 2019 with the Blueberries.

The latter, who has benefited from Wordel Rugby’s new eligibility rules which allow you to change your choice provided you have a parent or grandparent from the relevant country, is currently recovering from hand surgery: “Yes, I spoke to him because he’s on our project and he was reluctant to have surgery until he was present.” I told him, “You’re young, you have a long career ahead of you, you’re a professional, so think first about the future by doing surgery. I think he will come to visit us while we are staying in Tarbes and normally he should come back to Dubai. For me, who didn’t dare call him because I never thought he’d join us, his presence is good for Portugal.”

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Because the Pau winger, from Adi, also corresponds to the style of play set by Patrice Lajesquet: “The challenge was to create a balanced group between the players who play in the Portuguese Championship with real qualities and the professional players who play in France. That everyone can express themselves His identity is within the group. Also in terms of play, the challenge is to find that balance between the utterly flamboyant game of Portuguese rugby and the characteristics of conquest, combativeness and collective organization found in French rugby.”

So many qualities that could allow Portugal (No. 20 in the world) to face, in Dubai, the United States (No. 19 in the world) in some sort of final, with the firm intention of inviting themselves to Group C of the World Cup alongside Wales, Australia, Fiji and Georgia. .

This will not form a glass ceiling, but a brick wall according to tradition, which Portugal has not broken since 2007.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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