Clerc confident but collected

Date published: February 4 2008

France's stand-out performer Vincent Clerc feels optimistic about the future but still has his feet planted firmly on the ground after France's 27-6 win at Murray Field in their Six Nations opener.

France's stand-out performer Vincent Clerc feels optimistic about the future but still has his feet planted firmly on the ground after France's 27-6 win at Murray Field in their Six Nations opener.

Clerc scored two fabulous tries, though he admitted that his first try came as a result of a forward pass.

“It's always nice to score when you're a wing. If I score it's because the French team and Toulouse are playing well,” the winger told lesite.

“I'm getting good ball and I'm feeling good. It's pleasant but I'm not hung up on the number of tries I score.

Although 'Les bleus' failed to win the Webb Ellis trophy last year in front of their own fans, playing in the tournament has left Sunday's man of the match in a positive state of mind.

“I feel good on the training field both technically and physically,” he said.

“I'm benefiting from the confidence of the World Cup and some good physical preparation.

“I want it to last and not to rest on my laurels. I'm continuing to work hard and progress.

“When the team is moving forward and is giving me good ball, you tell yourself its all worth it.

“I always want to prove myself and do well…maybe that's why I'm progressing. But I don't believe I'm on a cloud and I don't feel like I'm flying.

“It's true that I'm full of confidence and I'm trying things. Having played a lot of consecutive international matches has given me more experience.”

France were full of running rugby on Sunday which bodes well for the future.

“We've been helped so much by the centres and the loose forwards and we felt secure to try new things.

“We've been talking to each other a lot on the field and during the week. The style implies a lot a communication,” he said of the new structures that have come with the France's new coaching staff and that seem to suit France's back three.

“New staff and new players can be scary. It's an unfamiliar environment. But after all we all share the same ambition and want to win and rebuild.

“We need to rebuild and find cohesion. It's great to project ourselves into the future with our short-term goals in the Six Nations tournament and the World Cup in the long term.”

France's next match will be against Ireland in Paris on Saturday.