Football. Champions Cup. Guy Nouvese sees Stade Toulouse ahead of Clermont and explains why

Guy Nouvese, coach of France's 15th national team, during a training session on March 17, 2017 in Marcoussy, on the eve of the Six Nations Championship match against Wales.
Guy Nouvese, coach of France’s 15th national team, during a training session on March 17, 2017 in Marcoussy, on the eve of the Six Nations Championship match against Wales. (© AFP / Archives / FRANCK FIFE)

What do you think of the performance of Toulouse Stadium in Münster?

Guy Nouvese: “It’s a great performance and a very good second half. The first was not at the level of the Stade Toulouse, but the second the opposite of what it is capable of doing. Was the Monster team great? I don’t know. What is certain is that Toulouse could have Big ambitions and why not win the European Cup.”

Does Clermont have a home advantage without spectators?

GN: “I don’t see the impact of traveling or hosting because we no longer have the support of the public. So there’s a real balance between the matches. Claremont’s team, unfortunately for them, lost five times in the final (out of the top 14) against Stade Toulouse and thus struggles to deal with matches The big ones are in the final stages. I see Toulouse winning even if it’s not easy because Claremont is still a great team. But at Stade Toulouse there are players who are able to make big differences in the final stages…”

What is the strength of Toulouse Stadium at the collective level?

GN: “Players reached the final stages with tenfold desire. Stade Toulousain is a team that reaches its goal not only when it plays the final but when it wins it. It is a chameleon team that is able to change skin when the final stages reach. This is not quite the case for others and especially for Clermont. It’s a brilliant team all season, it’s still in the final stage but it doesn’t change costumes. In the last stage you have to have a completely different behaviour, as with Stade Toulousain even if the club is going through some bad times. We feel the players want To do like the elderly and get that education. They have an example to follow and strive to surpass. That makes them a special team.”

Who do you think is the most difficult team for Toulouse?

GN: “It’s a rather special European Cup. The Muslims (relegated to English second division for not complying with the salary cap, editor’s note) are not there. They were one of the teams capable of causing real problems for others. Leinster are still a complex team, but they are moving on. Exeter (the title holders) One of them will stay on the floor. I see Leinster (qualified). It’s a team that has won the European Cup four times (a record shared with Toulouse, editor’s note) and is used in these meetings. They are able to change outfits also in the final stages. In France, I don’t see anyone.”

Toulouse scrum half Antoine Dupont (centre), congratulated by opening half Emile Ntamak, after his attempt against Beagle Bordeaux, during the best of 14 match, on December 27, 2020 in Toulouse.
Toulouse scrum half Antoine Dupont (centre), congratulated by opening half Emile Ntamak, after his attempt against Beagle Bordeaux, during the best of 14 match, on December 27, 2020 in Toulouse. (© AFP / Archives / Lionel BONAVENTURE)

The Dupont-Ntamack joint is considered one of the best in the world. What do you think?

GN: “It makes me happy! When I had the opportunity to coach the France team, I remember that together with Jeff Dubois and Yannick Pro (his assistants), we put Romain Ntamak in the elite list (in 2017, the players were protected by the LNR-FFR agreement, editor’s note). In At that point, he hadn’t been in one of the top 14 games and I was about to be an idiot working out our belief that he might be in the World Cup (2019), and that was the case. He’s a player I’ve seen growing, working and constantly progressing. Arrived. Little Antoine Dupont also made it to the start of the French team, quickly progressing from Caster. He makes for a young joint who works and progresses together. Romain is capable of having the intelligence and coolness needed for the job. Antoine has incredible qualities, when we wouldn’t expect him to look like anything more! His trials with the France team or the stadium prove it. I would be careful not to say it’s the best joint in the world, but it is indeed one of the best joints today.”

Source: © 2021 AFP

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