Planet Rugby

England our Grand Slam: Saint-André

16th February 2013 17:27


Philippe Saint-Andre

Philippe Saint-André: Setting a target

France coach Philippe Saint-André has equated his side's challenge of winning at Twickenham next Saturday with their own Grand Slam.

France's Six Nations title hopes disappeared after their opening two defeats to Italy and Wales but les Bleus will travel to London hoping to salvage some pride and end England's bid for a Grand Slam.

Defeat, however, would take France closer to their first wooden spoon since 1957.

"The England game can be our Grand Slam," said Saint-André as he met up with his squad at Orly airport on Saturday.

"The English are euphoric at the moment. Everyone is favouring them for the Grand Slam and us for the wooden spoon," added Saint-André, whose target this season had been an improvement from their fourth-placed finish in his first Six Nations last year.

"We have to go there full of enthusiasm, confidence and daring," said Saint-André.

"We are going there totally unrestrained. What a wonderful challenge to be going to Twickenham. I am really eager to be proud of a team that is going to go there and give 120 percent."

The former Sale and Toulon coach has blamed the overloaded Top 14 schedule for the fatigue of his players in contrast to squad all their games in November, but said he hoped a week's rest would have freshened them up.

"We have players who are going to be fresh physically, therefore we are going to have good training sessions," said the coach.

"It is important that the group lives well together, and from that the team gives their all on the pitch."

France will announce their starting line-up on Thursday.

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Friday , February 6
Wales vs England20:05
Saturday , February 7
Italy vs Ireland14:30
France vs Scotland17:00
Saturday , February 14
England vs Italy14:30
Ireland vs France17:00
Sunday , February 15
Scotland vs Wales15:00
Saturday , February 28
Scotland vs Italy14:30
France vs Wales17:00
Sunday , March 1
Ireland vs England15:00
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