Saint-André reads the riot act

Date published: March 4 2014


The France squad were greeted by a fired up national selector on their arrival at French headquarters on Sunday.

France coach Philippe Saint-André has made it very clear to his squad that a repeat of the debacle in Cardiff will not be acceptable at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Les Bleus were greeted by a fired up national selector on their arrival at French headquarters late on Sunday as Saint-André led a robust debriefing of the 27-6 loss to Wales a fortnight ago.

From the lacklustre attitude of some, to the inappropriate behaviour of others, the absence of a fighting spirit in the team to poor basic cohesion, PSA read the riot act to his squad as they look to salvage the Six Nations campaign that had such a positive start.

Judging by the faces of the players on Monday, it was evident that the coach did not mince his words.

“With this flashback, we were rapidly taken back to the last defeat and the fact that we were all completely off the boil,” Toulouse wing Yoann Huget told Rugbyrama with a much-changed expression to the smile he was wearing upon arrival following his club's big win over Perpignan.

Furious after the final whistle at the Millennium Stadium, Saint-André took swift action against one of his team's best players, dropping Louis Picamoles for his sarcastic applause of referee Alain Rolland.

And it seems the message sent has been received.

“It makes you think!” said fly-half Jules Plisson.

“[Picamoles] paid for the rest of us.

“[The coach] put us in our place. Sometimes it's necessary. He put the record straight on attitudes that we had on the field and what we should represent individually and collectively vis-à– vis our supporters . ”

France are still in the hunt for the Six Nations crown, but they must win convincingly this weekend to keep pace with Ireland, England and Wales.