6 Nations 2024 – France – Ireland – Paul Gabrillagues: “When you fall, you have to get up as quickly as possible”

If he dreamed of a very different return to Blue, the Stade Français player called for the immediate remobilization of troops in Scotland to bounce back from the Vélodrome debacle.

On the spot, how do you feel after this defeat and its devastating scenario that forced you to evolve for over an hour without your partner in 2E line ?

It’s disappointing but we have to move forward and look ahead to bounce back next weekend. We have no choice and we have an opportunity, we have to take it. Getting a red card very early is something that can happen in this sport. It obviously didn’t make the task any easier against a team in great form. But such a scenario can happen and we must be prepared to face it.

Compared to the power strategy you chose to face the Irish pack, was it irreparable to play with one less striker for so long?

It’s always the same: when you lose 2E you lose a guy in contact, in a scrum, in a ruck… We know it can happen and that the basis of this sport is that when you lose someone, you have to double the intensity and strip for them. Even though the Irish dominated us in the last 20 minutes, twice coming back to within 7 points, there were still signs that we weren’t giving up, that we wanted to come back. But going back to 7 points twice against Ireland is obviously not enough.

So what did he lack to change the match?

We knew it was going to come together against Ireland, that we would have to multiply the tasks … there are a lot of small details that will have to be reviewed, but frankly, I don’t have enough perspective to answer you right now. So I won’t go into an explanation.

A little positive nod from history, on a personal level you scored like five years ago in the same stadium…

(Silent) I wanted to win (smile). I just wanted to win… After that, of course, wearing the blue jersey made me extremely happy, on an individual level it’s something amazing. But the script and outcome meant that…

What was said in the locker room to remobilize the troops after this faceoff?

I’m from the old school where everything that happens in the dressing room has to stay there. We just have to bounce back quickly. That’s life, that’s sport. When you fall, you must get up as quickly as possible and that is the challenge before us in Scotland.

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