Saint-André sticks to same Bleus' formula

 

France will build on their recent World Cup campaign to prepare for the Six Nations Championship, Philippe Saint-André said yesterday.

With less than two months before their opening match against Italy, France would have little time to make any major changes, he added.

"We are no magicians, we won't make radical changes in five or six training sessions," said Saint-André, who took over from Marc Lièvremont on 1 December and combines the roles of coach and manager. "We will have to build on the strengths from the World Cup squad: good defence, aggressiveness, discipline," added Saint-André, who confirmed Thierry Dusautoir as team captain.

France, who lost in the World Cup final to the hosts New Zealand in October, entertain Italy on 4 February.

Saint-André, the former Gloucester, Sale and Toulon manager who won 69 caps with France from 1990-97, confirmed that Toulouse's Yannick Bru and Biarritz's Patrice Lagisquet had been named as the forwards and backs coaches respectively. They will be available for France during the Six Nations before being freed by their respective clubs in June.

The former manager Jo Maso, who had been in place since 1995, remains on the selection committee.

One of Saint-André's priorities will be to deal with the Top 14 clubs in a demanding calendar during which league and international matches often clash.

"I know the problem because I have been a club manager before," he said. "We have to be intelligent and talk to each other. On Monday and Tuesday, I will be speaking to all club coaches."

Although the 2015 World Cup is not yet on his priority list, Saint-André wants France to play all three big southern hemisphere nations in the November Tests. "We did not win the World Cup," he said. "Playing three high-level matches in succession helps you get ready [for the World Cup]." But the manager will have to wait until 2013 to play Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in November, as Les Bleus already have games against Australia, Argentina and one of the Pacific Islands team (Tonga, Fiji or Samoa) scheduled for next year.

Saint-André will also be in charge of the defence with Lagisquet after the former defence coach David Ellis's contract was not renewed.

Glasgow's Scotstoun Stadium will host the IRB Sevens World Series in place of Murrayfield next May.

The penultimate tournament in the nine-event series will switch from the SRU headquarters, which has previously been the host, to Scotstoun as Glasgow steps up preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Scotstoun Stadium, home to the Glasgow Warriors team from next season, will see 16 teams from across the world competing on 5 and 6 May, with 15,000 fans expected to attend.

The game of sevens is widely believed to have been invented in the Scottish Border town of Melrose in 1883.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate