France coach Laurent Frayssinous said he was proud of his players despite bowing out of the World Cup in the group stages, and feels optimistic about the 2025 tournament on home soil.
The French exited the World Cup last weekend after losing to quarter-finalists Samoa 62-4 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington.
Frayssinous’ side registered one win from their three group games, which came against Greece 34-12 in Doncaster.
But Frayssinous believes this year’s World Cup will put his side in good stead ahead of hosting the tournament on home soil in three years’ time.
“That’s what we are starting to discuss with the boys and Trent (Robinson, head of rugby) – how we will be in the quarter-finals in 2025, one step above tonight,” Frayssinous said after their defeat to Samoa.
“The first thing is learning from tonight, it’s all about the small details that we didn’t do right. It’s not about because of the behaviour of the boys or not winning – the boys have been great – it’s about learning the small details that you can and can’t afford to do. We’ve got three years to work on that.
“I don’t want people to summarise our World Cup with the scoreboard we saw tonight. The boys have been great on and off the field for the last four weeks, but tonight didn’t go our way, especially with injuries.”
“I believe in the boys”
The 2025 World Cup will take place in 40 cities across France. It will mainly take place in medium-sized cities, with the tournament “being the World Cup of regions”.
And Frayssinous, who won 26 caps for France during his playing career, reckons his side can do something special in their homeland.
“I’m pretty optimistic, I believe in the boys,” he added.
“It’s been a long time, we didn’t see how professional they are on and off the field and their behaviour is great so at one point we will do something about this because if we keep that mindset together as coaching staff and players, I know we will have the reward at some point.”
Laurent Frayssinous on his World Cup predictions
The Frenchman believes this year’s World Cup is wide open, saying any one of the quarter-finalists can win it.
“It’s pretty open to be honest,” he said. “Australia are favourites, which is fair and easy to say that when you watch them play, but England can win I think, they’ve got the squad to do it.
“New Zealand, definitely, and you’ve got Samoa and Tonga who, on their day, can beat any opposition so it will be interesting. Sadly, I’ll be watching it in front of my TV but they will be good quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.”