6 NATIONS TOURNAMENT – After playing all the matches of the XV of France in 2022, Toulouse hooker Peato Mauvaka could miss a large part of the 6 Nations Tournament. An absence which, added to that of Pierre Bourgarit, creates a void at the level of the hooker. Which player could be the number 2 in the position, behind Julien Marchand, during the 6 Nations Tournament? Response elements.
After fracturing his phalanx last Saturday against La Rochelle in the league, Peato Mauvaka is worried. The Toulousain must have surgery this Friday and could be unavailable for long weeks. While Fabien Galthié had first assessed his absence at three weeks, it seems that the hooker could ultimately miss the first three games of the next 6 Nations Tournament. Very bad news, especially when we know that the Rochelais Pierre Bourgarit, who shared the position with Mauvaka during the tour in Japan last summer, is also injured and should be unavailable for two and a half months. If Julien Marchand is available and should be the holder unless there is a huge surprise, several suitors are now fighting for the role of replacement. Here are a few :
Maxime Lamothe (UBB)
He may even be the favorite in this battle for a place on the Blues bench. Never called by Fabien Galthié yet, the Bordelais experienced the blue jersey during the youth selections. A former hooker for the under-20s, he was even world champion with Les Bleuets, in a team bursting with talent. In the middle of Ntamack, Carbonel, Woki, Gros, or other Bamba, Lamothe was the hooker replacing behind… Guillaume Marchand.
Today, the helmet has become a holder within the Bordeaux-Bègles Union and shines with its astonishing activity. A modern hooker, he has great energy and a good burst of speed. His dynamism has something to seduce, especially since he has clearly improved his qualities as a pitcher in recent months. He is clearly applying for the next tournament.
Gaëtan Barlot (Castres)
He has already had some great moments under Fabien Galthié. Gaëtan Barlot was among those who defeated New Zealand in Saint-Denis, during the November tour in 2021. The former Columérin had, at the time, experienced an express ascent, from the Pro D2 to the XV of France , where he debuted with the tour in Australia. Hooker also dynamic, his qualities had seduced the staff, who had put him in competition with Pierre Bourgarit. With the injury of the latter, the door opens again for the Castres.
This season, Barlot has played 15 games in the jersey of the CO but has somewhat fallen into line in terms of his performance. His performances in conquest are particularly criticized, while his activity in the game is a little less felt. Despite this, he remains a player capable of very good things and perhaps needs to regain his confidence, even though he is now much more expected than two years ago. The Tournament could allow him to revive.
Mickaël Ivaldi (French Stadium)
With the Blues, Mickaël Ivaldi may have missed the mark. Now 32, the Parisian does not yet have a selection with the Tricolores, despite his seasons in Montpellier or Lyon. Former U20 international in 2010, Ivaldi has found a second youth this season at Stade Français. Like his club, currently second in the championship, the hooker surprises (very) positively this season. The proof, he is currently the one who has the best stats at his post on La Grande Mêlée!
Holder in his eleven games played this season in the Top 14, he is currently at the heart of the best conquest of the Top 14, quite simply. If this is also thanks to Lucas Peyresblanques, Ivaldi today seems to be one of the best hookers in France.
Camille Cat (Racing 92)
What if we were dealing with a ghost for this 6 Nations Tournament? Camille Chat has not worn the blue tunic since a match against Scotland in March 2020. Since? The one who has 33 selections since 2016 saw Marchand, then Mauvaka pass him in front of the hierarchy. But given the injuries of Mauvaka and Bourgarit, his return would hardly come as a surprise.
A dynamic but also extremely robust hooker, Camille Chat needs no introduction. He, who has had many adventures with the XV of France, manages to continue with Racing 92 and has played 13 games this season. In November, he told us to still believe in the Blues. “I believe in it and I work hard for it. But I know that I am going a long way…” What if the story wasn’t over?
Note that at Racing 92, Janick Tarrit is having a good season and could also be one of the big surprises on the list.
Yohan Beheregaray (Clermont)
The Clermont pack is, in some matches, a very solid pack. Able to dominate in melee, he can also largely step on his opponent on mauls. And there is one who takes advantage of this superior power of the Jaunards. He is Yohan Beheregaray. The Béarnais scored six tries last year in the Top 14 and scored one this season, in his thirteen games played in the league.
Holder in Clermont, Beheregaray has never been called up to the France team but his performances could convince Fabien Galthié and his staff to take him on for the next Tournament… To be seen.
Christopher Tolofua (Toulon)
He too was a ghost. International at only 18 and promised a bright future in blue, Christopher Tolofua failed to confirm the expectations placed on him. The former Saracens has “only” eight selections but was recalled this summer for the tour against Japan. If he did not play a single minute, this selection opened the door to a renewal in blue.
But that hasn’t really been the case and this season Tolofua has only played one Top 14 game as a starter this season. His throwing difficulties cost him dearly. If called, it would be in the name of collective continuity.