Furious Saint-Andre to wield axe

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 14:43
Large philippe saint andre player

Furious France coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Saturday said there will be changes to his team, following their 6-27 defeat to Wales.

Furious France coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Saturday called on his players to play with fire in their bellies and turn things around for the remainder of the Six Nations, following their 6-27 defeat to Wales.

The 46-year-old - who saw hopes of a first Grand Slam under him evaporate as the Welsh produced a dominant performance on Friday - was scathing about the team's display and said there would be changes to personnel ahead of the away trip to Scotland in a fortnight.

There, as they try to gain their first away win since triumphing at Murrayfield in 2012, the French are expected to recall experienced scrumhalf Morgan Parra, although they have injury concerns over Yannick Nyanga and Wesley Fofana, two of their more impressive performers against the Welsh.

Saint-Andre was so angry about the manner of the defeat in Cardiff that, for the first time, he took aim at the players, something he refrained from doing even in last year's Six Nations when the French ended up with the wooden spoon.

"I want the players to come back from this and in the next game play with fire in their bellies and turn things around," said Saint-Andre at the French base in Newport, Wales.

Saint-Andre, who replaced the much-maligned Marc Lievremont after the 7-8 defeat to New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup final, will look to the 54-times capped Parra, who has returned to action with his club Clermont in fine fettle after being out through injury, to restore some order at scrum-half.

Jean-Marc Doussain had a nightmare at scrumhalf against the Welsh, although the fact he played the whole 80 minutes for his club Toulouse - who ignored Saint-Andre's plea not to field players who had started the first two Six Nations games - the weekend before seemed to have played a role in his performance.

"For sure there will be changes," said Saint-Andre.

"There will be those who are returning from injury," added Saint-Andre, referring not only to Parra but also to back row forward Bernard Le Roux, who missed the Wales game because he was concussed in the 30-10 win over Italy.

Saint-Andre, who will unveil his 30-man squad on Monday and then have to ask the coaches of the Top 14 clubs concerned not to play those players next weekend, said that several had allowed the match to completely pass them by.

"There were failures among the players," he said.

"We know that these are players of quality, but certain ones let the occasions get to them.

"There are several players who talked too much instead of doing their job on the pitch."

Saint-Andre, who was extremely disappointed by the fashion in which his forward pack was dismantled by the Welsh, said that his pre-match message seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

"I told them that the match could act as the key to happiness," said the former France captain and wing.

"You win and it will open up the way to something exceptional [the Grand Slam potentially].

AFP

South Africa vs Ireland
sast: 17h00 | local: 17h00

  • 13 | 10
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 June 2016
Griffons v Free State Cheetahs 12h10 Welkom
Griquas v Sharks 13h00 Kimberley
Georgia U20 v France U20 13h15 Manchester
Argentina U20 v South Africa U20 13h30 Salford
Boland v Namibia 14h00 Wellington
Scotland U20 v Wales U20 15h30 Manchester
Australia U20 v New Zealand U20 15h45 Salford
Ireland U20 v England U20 18h00 Salford
Argentina v France 18h10 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 June 2016
United States v Russia 02h00 Sacramento
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Jaguares v Blues 22h00 Buenos Aires
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0