France coach Laurent Tillie instructs his players during a match against Japan in the 2014 World League
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 23, 2015 – France will travel to East Asia this week for two World League clashes against Korea before two matches against Japan the following weekend.
Coach Laurent Tillie will take 13 players with him, composed largely of those from the World Championship. After two friendly wins over Belgium last weekend, the team assembled in Tours and is now at full strength.
After a week's holiday, Earvin Ngapeth, a beaten finalist in the Italian Championship with Modena, has joined the squad and took part in his first practice on Thursday.
“He had the shortest break,” Tillie pointed out. “Most of the players had 10 to 12 days. For him, it was just one week. Although it wasn’t so long, he quickly found his feet and got back into the swing of things with his teammates again, and is ready for Korea.”
France will open their World League campaign against Korea on May 30 and 31. There were no surprises in Tillie’s squad as the coach had previously announced that he would base his squad around the players who made the semifinals in the World Championship in Poland last year. The only “new” players are Julien Lyneel, who missed the World Championship because of a knee injury, and Mederic Henry.
Regarding Lyneel, Tillie commented: "He hurt himself while with us (in preparation for the 2014 World League), so naturally we wanted to do everything we could to bring him back to the level he was at when he was injured. Beyond the opportunity we have given him, in training he showed he was more than capable of being part of the squad. Finally, he is a very dynamic and technical player, and he is left-handed.”
Tuia Samuele was not selected this time, while Jonas Aguenier and Nicolas Rossard will represent France in the first European Games in Baku (June 12-28).
France squad for Korea and Japan
2. Jenia Grebennikov
3. Henry Mederic
4. Rouzier Antonin
6. Toniutti Benjamin
7. Kevin Tillie
8. Jaumel Yoann
9. Ngapeth Earvin
10. Kevin Le Roux
11. Lyneel Julien
14. Nicolas Le Goff
16. Nicolas Marechal
17. Franck Lafitte
21. Mory Sidibe
France’s World League record
2006 Silver Medal