Saint-Andre realises end is near

Date published: March 16 2015

France head Philippe Saint-André is aware that this weekend's clash with England could well be his last Six Nations game in charge.

Saint-André has struggled to win over the public since his appointment succeeding Marc Lièvremont after the last Rugby World Cup.

His record illustrates the struggles France have faced, winning only 15 of his 36 matches in charge.

"The chances are high that it will be, yes," Saint-André told AFP.

"But I prefer to stay in the present and on this hugely important week ahead of us.

"Afterwards (Six Nations) there will be a period of preparation for the World Cup and I will have time to fully consider my future after that.

"I will not decide anything before that. I want to fully experience the moments we will have, with my players, my assistants, some great guys."

Meanwhile, Toulouse number eight Louis Picamoles has been called up to France's squad to replace the injured Wenceslas Lauret.

Picamoles, who last played for France in a defeat to Australia last June, missed the start of the tournament after picking up a thigh injury.

The 28-year-old will be joined at France's training camp by Jocelino Suta, Rémi Tales, Marc Andreu and Yannick Nyanga, who did not feature in the 29-0 win in Italy over the weekend.

After back-to-back defeats to Wales and Ireland, France bounced back with the convincing win and has an outside chance of winning the tournament.

Saint-André said that fly-halves Jules Plisson and Camille Lopez as well as prop Eddy Ben Arous are doubtful with injuries sustained against the Italians.

"We won't be favorites, but we can win," said Saint-André.

"We are going there with a positive pressure on us. There is very little difference between the teams in this tournament."

Clearly the French are feeling much better before they travel to Twickeham.

"We could not have predicted that we would win 29-0 in Italy," Toulouse full-back Yoann Huget told L'Equipe.

"Our forwards did a great job and dominated to allow us to launch a few counter-attacks. We also made the most of the mistakes made by Italy. We played pragmatically and this win does us a lot of good.

"We are still in the race to win the tournament even though it will take a miracle. But it is already good to be able to finish the tournament at Twickenham with a chance to win."

France captain Thierry Dusautoir said his team showed "more hunger, more quality."

"We had a lot of pressure going into this game after a difficult week. We showed a lot of character that we seemed to have lost in our previous two games," said Dusautoir, who earned his 50th cap against Italy and was voted man of the match

"Our aim now is to recover well and try to go out for a win in England."