Bastareaud thinking happy thoughts
France have got to stop asking questions of themselves and start thinking positively, according to centre Mathieu Bastareaud.
The 24-year-old was surprisingly dropped from the starting line-up for last Saturday's 13-13 draw with Ireland as he had made more of an impact than most of the backs in their three Six Nations defeats.
However, whether he is in the starting XV or not for the final game with Scotland at the Stade de France this Saturday, he is hoping the whole squad can leave the tournament with one good performance under their belts.
"If we all have the will to put on a great performance against the Scots, then we can do something special," said Bastareaud, whose constant battle with his weight has been a worry for France coach Philippe Saint-Andre.
"The talent and the quality is there. We have stopped this series of defeats. Now it is for us to moved in an upward spiral.
"It will be good to end with a victory but it will not be easy. We are not going to say we are going to score 40 points against the Scots in order to give pleasure to everybody. It isn't as simple as that."
Bastareaud, whose two tries in his 13 tests came in the 18-9 Six Nations win away to the Scots at Murrayfield in 2010, said that it was time for him and his team-mates to stop thinking about what would happen if they lost.
"The objective is to win, and if possible in style," said the Toulon powerhouse.
"It is imperative that we stop asking ourselves 10,000 questions, to think of what will happen if we lose.
"We have to think about winning, to be positive and to go out to play the Scots with our heads held high and be proud to play in this final match.
"It will be a beautiful match. The two teams are going to want to put on a spectacle. For us it has been a complicated tournament. There has not been much pleasure to take out of it. We need to try and enjoy ourselves."
Bastareaud said that the Ireland result — which saw the French come back from 13-3 down at half-time to force the draw — had been crucial in one respect.
"It did us some good. We should have won but we are satisfied with the draw.
"A fourth defeat would have finished us off," he said.
France need realistically to beat Scotland to avoid finishing bottom of the table for the first time ever in the Six Nations and for the first time since 1999, when it was still the Five Nations.