SIX NATIONS: France hit desperation zone
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The scrutiny of the mental state of France’s reeling rugby team continued as lock Felix Lambey talked of “rage” and “anger” in the squad as they prepare to face Scotland.
France have started the Six Nations by blowing a comfortable half-time lead to lose at home to Wales and suffering a thrashing by England at Twickenham. They have lost 10 of their last 13 games.
“There is anger, a desire to react, there is a lot of rage in everyone,” Lambey told the media. “Everyone is really hurt. We want to show a different face and finally win.”
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The previous day, the discussion had focussed on changes demanded by the players: the announcement of the team two days earlier, changing the format of press contact to reduce demands on players and the creation of an eight-member leadership group within the squad to support captain Guilhem Guirado.
“We know we let the England match pass us by,” said flanker Wenceslas Lauret on Wednesday. “We need to be united, together.”
Yet all the talk about the squad’s state of mind had proved a useful diversion, said centre Gael Fickou.
“Pressure is funny,” Fickou said. “We feel it less this week, as all the talk is about what’s going on in the squad rather than what’s happening on the field.”
Even so, Fickou said, the objective was clear: “win this weekend.”
Victory would be the best way for the team to “rebound”, agreed Lauret.
— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) February 19, 2019