This is the feeling of this list released the day after the historic success (10-53) of the XV of France at Twickenham. The second line Emmanuel Meafou, Australian of origin, is among the 14 players summoned in addition to the 28 of the trip to Twickenham to prepare this week in Marcoussis the reception of Wales, the last match of the Blues in this Six Nations 2023 tournament.
But the 24-year-old, born in New Zealand to Samoan parents before emigrating to the mainland island, will not be able to face the Leek XV on Saturday. The colossus (2.03m, 140 kilos) does not yet have a French passport, a compulsory condition for the FFR to claim to play among the tricolors, even if the procedures have been started. The staff simply wanted to show their interest and start integrating a player who will, in any case, be eligible for the XV de France jersey from 2024.
A blur around his eligibility for the tricolor jersey
Arrived in France in December 2018 and never selected for the Wallabies, the Toulouse second line must, as required Word Rugby Rule 8.1, having spent five years in his country of residence before claiming to play for his selection. But a certain vagueness surrounds this point of regulation which imposed until January 1, 2022 a period of only three years in his adopted country.
However, Emmanuel Meafou was eligible for a few days, in December 2021, but without a match for the XV of France. A fault in which engulfed New Zealand to be able to select the Tongan of origin Folau Fakatava. And who would select Emmanuel Meafou for the World Cup in France (September 8 – October 28) if he obtains the passport? It is difficult to answer this question at the moment. The possibility, considered by the staff of the Blues, was mentioned Sunday evening on RTL by the coach in charge of the conquest, William Servat.
In the meantime, the player will take his first steps in Marcoussis, where he can count on an impressive Toulouse contingent to integrate. Saturday, they were ten out of the 23 players lying on the match sheet by Fabien Galthié. To this total, we must add the three-quarter center Pierre-Louis Barassi. And now, Emmanuel Meafou.