Six Nations

France to play with freedom

2015-02-27 16:33
Thierry Dusautoir (Getty Images)

Marcoussis - France captain Thierry Dusautoir says the much-maligned national team must play with freedom against Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

France have been highly criticised in their home press for a perceived lack of ambition in their style of play, preferring to batter away in the forwards rather than throw the ball around the backs.

They scored just one try over their first two Six Nations games but Dusautoir, who admitted a couple of weeks ago this may be his last Six Nations, says they must start enjoying their rugby again.

"The aim is to see a liberated French team who are enjoying themselves," said the 33-year-old Toulouse flanker.

"I think what is frustrating everyone, players, coaches, fans, is to see and feel that this team has a lot more to offer.

"We know its potential, which is why everyone is a bit disappointed with our performances.

"We're not managing to completely express ourselves. Being able to free yourselves is part of top level rugby.

"The teams that manage to do that are rigorous and aware of what they're doing, without that being a straightjacket."

Some of the critics are suggesting that it is time to dispense with the old guard, such as Dusautoir, and put faith in a younger generation.

"If I'm still here it's because I'm useful," said Dusautoir defiantly.

"I don't think I'm here because people are being nice to me and giving me a few extra caps.

"I have an effective role in the team. It's a discreet role that I accept.

"That's what I can give. I'm not going to take the ball and launch an 80-metre attack.

"Last week people said I did well slowing down Ireland ball. That allowed our defence to get in place and it was praised for that.

"I played my part in that because I accepted getting hit in the head (at the breakdown) throughout the whole match.

"I have my qualities but I've been criticised a lot because I don't carry the ball."

And he added: "But I think that given all my faults, I've had a career that's not so disgusting after all."

Dusautoir won the European Cup with Toulouse in 2010, claimed five French titles with Biarritz and Toulouse, played in a World Cup final with France, won the Six Nations in 2010 -- a Grand Slam -- played 72 times for his country, including 47 of those as captain.

Teams:

France:

15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Sofiane Guitoune, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Romain Taofifenua, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous

Substitutes: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Sebastian Tillous-Borde, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

Wales:

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Scott Williams

Read more on:    france  |  six nations  |  thierry dusautoir  |  rugby
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