Dimitri Marié caught up with France Under 20 captain Paul Jedrasiak to find out his thoughts ahead of the IRB Junior World Championship 2013, which will be hosted by his country from 5-23 June.
How are the preparations going with the tournament now only a week away?
We are in the last lap, training sessions are getting more and more intense and it is a hard working week. The spirit is very good and we are very happy to be together again. There is a great willingness to prepare really well and I feel the lads want to start the competition now.
What aspects do you feel the team still need to work on?
We must learn to be more efficient and work to be clinical. We must be stronger in the way we conclude our actions. For this, we must really be focused all the time, before and during the training sessions. In everything we do, we must be 100 per cent committed. There will always be things to fine-tune, but it is first of all important to work on our strengths to reach our maximum.
You obviously know England well, what about your other Pool A opponents South Africa and France?
We have seen some matches on video, especially of South Africa and England. South Africa go through many phrases, we'll need rhythm and to be fit. We know the English players, they are heavy and powerful. We know it will be difficult in this pool.
You played in last year's competition, what are your memories of JWC 2012 in South Africa?
I felt all the players were there to help me and support me. I have kept many memories, two things especially. The first was our good win over Australia and the second one, maybe the most important, is the birth of group during the competition. The story we wrote in the pool stages, with the defeat in the first match (against Argentina) and then to finish with a big win over Australia.
How does it feel knowing you will be playing in the tournament on home soil?
It is already great to participate in one world championship, so it obviously feels much stronger when it is at home. It is a source of pride, just to put on a French jersey, for what it represents, for it's history, these are hard to explain feelings. You need to enjoy it is much as possible. It's just a kid's dream come true!
What strengths do you believe France will need to do well in this tournament?
The play is fast and goes through many phases. The rhythm is different compared to our championship in France, but we will get used to the rhythm along the way. It all depends on the teams. Some exert less rhythms than others. There will be less power in contacts than when we played against the French team in our preparations. We hope to go far, we must be physically ready but most of all be very efficient in all that we do.
As France captain, what message have you been giving your teammates?
I am trying to remind them how important it is to be focused all the time. We must be strict with ourselves. Finally, each player must be responsible and accountable. You cannot expect that your friend will do everything for you. We must take hold of our history, it is up to us to write a great chapter, not to wait for others to write it for us.