herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

French 'need aggression'

France boss Phillipe Saint-Andre has urged his players to show more aggression after keeping faith in the squad that beat Italy for next Saturday's Six Nations clash against Ireland at the Stade de France in Paris.

Saint-Andre, with his staff, twice watched France's 30-12 win over Italy in their Six Nations opener and could see the World Cup runners-up struggled to put pressure on their opponents in the rucks.

"We lack that ferocity, that desire to go forward," Saint-Andre said yesterday, although he praised his players for their capacity to follow orders.

"We were more in a training session than in an official match," he said.

"When we upped the pace, we were better in attack and in defence.

"We cannot let the Irish play like they want because they will score when they have the opportunity. We will have to take them by the throat."

Former Toulon and Sale Sharks boss Saint-Andre, who took over from Marc Lievremont last December, said there would be changes to the starting line up for the match at the Stade de France but thought there was much to build on from the Italian opener.

"I'm not depressed. We won. We scored four halfback tries," he said.

"We were not dominated, we defended very well, we were disciplined. There is a lot to take into the next games."

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