With the Guinness Six Nations just days from getting underway, it can be all about the little things in the final build-up that can be the difference between agony and ecstasy.
That seems almost certain to be the case again this year, and each team will be putting their own finishing touches on preparations, with the opening match now almost here.
For France and head coach Fabien Galthié, that preparation has been spent at the base of La Legion Étrangère, an army legion composed of foreign troops, dating back to 1831.
Upon arrival, the players were greeted with by the soldiers, before a ceremony led by the commander of La Legion Étrangère, general Lardet.
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Full-back Melvyn Jaminet said: “It’s something when you arrive, when you see all the soldiers coming to the camp.
“It’s quite impressive. We were very well received; we had a kind of small ceremony at the beginning which was exciting.
“And then afterwards, we had a chat. They explained to us a little bit how it was going to work.”
Up to this point, soldiers from 140 nations have fought in La Legion Étrangère, but they have always gelled together and fought for the same cause.
Karim Ghezal, set-piece coach for France, was inspired by the time spent with the troops.
“We also have players from different backgrounds who are fighting for their country,” he said.
“On the pitch, we don’t fight in the same way, but we give everything we can to represent our club and our country.
“So, it’s inspiring to talk to them.”
As expected at a military base, the days have been meticulously planned out and regimented, as the squad prepare for their match against Italy on Sunday.
Ghezal continued: “We are using three different places: the hotel where we rest, where there are not necessarily any meetings.
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“Then we leave in the morning, go to the Legion and that’s where the meetings start and where Fabien starts the day.
“We then have collective meetings, maybe meetings before training, before weight training, it’s the base where we do all weight training and physical preparation.
“We don’t run, the forwards can work on the lineout, the scrum, defence, things that we work on inside.
“We have a tent at our disposal with all the weight training equipment. We can work together on performance and rugby.
“I do the lineouts inside, and William Servat (set-piece coach) and Shaun Edwards (defence coach) do their bits, as well as Laurent Labit (attack coach). They do the footwork in there too.
“We eat there, and then we take the bus and go to Aubagne and get on the field to do some training on the pitch, supported by data.”
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And Jaminet, who starred in the Autumn Nations Series at full-back, is braced for his first Guinness Six Nations campaign.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it because of course I’ve watched the Championships on TV.
“It was already something great, and the fact that I’m taking part in it, it’s huge.
“Now we’re doing a big week of preparation, which has been tough, we feel we’re a bit in the thick of it, but it’s going to come together, and I think we’ll be in the best conditions to play the game.”