XV of France Female. 90th selection for Safi N’Diaye: the top 5 of the Bleues with the most appearances

Montpellier Safi N’Diaye is only 3 appearances from the selection record held by Laëtitia Salles. (© Icon Sport)

Substitute against New Zealand, this Saturday (7:30), in the semifinal of the Women’s World Cup, second row of the XV of France, Safi N’Diaye (34), he should be around 90 years oldth selection against the Black Ferns (34 years). A symbolic cross that will make it the second French national team with the most appearances in history, on a par with the former owner and captain of the Blues, Estelle Sartini, and only two points behind the former hooker Laëtitia Salles (see ranking below)

Ten after his debut with the XV of France, a player of Montpellierborn and educated in Castre and who grew up in Escoussens (Tarn), enjoys entering this very closed circle. “I will celebrate my 90th selection on Saturday at Eden Park… (silence) It’s incredible. He went super fast. I still don’t realize I’ve been there for 10 years, but for me it’s always the same pleasure to be selected, to be able to wear this shirt. Ten years later, my eyes still shine. I still have so many emotions to arrive in this dressing room and on this terrain ”he underlined with his unshakable smile.

The top 5 French nationals with the most appearances in history:

  • Laëtitia Salles (92 appearances)
  • Estelle Sartini (90)
  • Safi N’Diaye (89) *
  • Sandrine Agricole (84)
  • Stephanie Prevost (77)
    * In bold, players are still active

Closely followed by retired Danielle Irazu (76 appearances), Christelle Le Duff (75), Annick Hayraud (74), current general manager of the XV of France Women, the béarnaise Lisa Arricastre, recent military world champion in New Zealand as well as the back- opener of the Blues, Jessy Trémoulière (72 appearances), elected best player in the world in 2018 and player of the decade 2010-2020 by World Rugby. Note that Auvergne is only the second player in this top 10 still active, with Safi N’Diaye.

“Safi is a woman who exudes many exceptional human values ​​…”

Six-time champion of France with Montpellier (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019), Safi N’Diaye also played three World Cups (2014, 2017 and 2022) and won 3 Grand Slams (2014, 2016 and 2018). ) with the Blues. Saturday will certainly be part of the pantheon of women’s rugby against New Zealand.

“I saw him arrive at the first training courses with the French team on tiptoe”, remembers the manager of the French women’s team. Annick Hayraudwhich is also 8And French national team with the most appearances in history. “Today Safi is a woman who exudes so many exceptional human values. She loves people, she helps them and when she is with her the XV of France she occupies an important place “, she adds, before continuing:

He is someone who has always known how to speak at the right moments. She doesn’t speak at all. Whenever she talks, it always makes sense. She also knew how to pass the baton. Gradually, she let the young people take their place in the life of the group. They have not noticed, but it is something very beautiful. Some people can resist but she, no, it was just natural and that’s what makes her even more exceptional.

Annick HayraudDirector of the XV of France Women

Serge Simon: “French rugby owes him a lot”

A strong and well-deserved tribute for a player who has never cheated in the blue jersey. And serge simoneVice President of the FFR in charge of High Performance, he also wanted to say goodbye to the longevity of Safi N’Diaye:

Safi is one of the people who will have marked women’s rugby and in particular this XV of France. She is a hell of a player, an extraordinary woman. She is one of the greatest French players but she is also her and above all a beautiful person. French rugby owes him a lot. It hasn’t always been easy for her and reaching 90 caps is just amazing. You are one who has worked a lot for the recognition of rugby, who has also worked hard to keep the level up. She never gave up, on the contrary. She was able to share her experience of hers, to be there for the team in strong or difficult times.

serge simoneVice President of the FFR

On Saturday 5th November (7:30 am), Safi N’Diaye is hoping his 3And The World Cup semi-final will finally be the right one, after those lost in 2014 and 2017, to continue dreaming of a world title in New Zealand. “It is all the happiness I can wish her, that she wins the title of world champion, because she is one of those people who really did everything to get there, she gave herself all the means, she made many sacrifices and this would be well deserved” , concludes Annick Hayraud.

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