Victory Or Nothing

Poor in 2013, the Blues were ordered to beat England in the opening Six Nations on Saturday at the Stade de France (1800).

They hammered all week. “There is no more excuses!” From coach Philippe Saint-Andre, master, Pascal Pape, through all the soldiers of the XV of France.


All except Jules Plisson, exempt from confidences to “preserve the media pressure.” I must say that the bright boy of the French stage is given a sacred responsibility for his first selection. Lead the Blues to victory against our worst enemy, the XV de la Rose in a hot Stade de France. Eager to get excited again, but certainly ruthless when new disillusionment.

Maximum pressure and obligation of result, therefore. At the end of a disastrous season (2 wins in 11 games), the XV of France has blown all jokers. Definitely not to sink in the doldrums, the Blues of the oval ball must strike hard. Beat the English, if possible with panache, to reconcile with supporters finally ready to forgive their past when fireworks failures. No other possible outcomes. Losing would feed a little more doubts within two years of the World Cup … England. Losing input spoil the rest of the Six Nations. A litany of matches without passion to try to avoid the worst, deprived of the excitement of a Grand Slam win.

Losing is not safe either for these players. “PSA” has maintained its confidence against winds and tides in the South West. But this time, he threatened. We must win. Otherwise, some are not ready to rethread the tunic hit the cock. Message received. “If we do not win, we will end up spending for horns,” grimace Pascal Pape.

“The Time For Learning Is Over”

“This game is a stepping stone adds Bastareaud. Were no longer has the right to be wrong.” To be missed. For two years, the Blues “PSA” sometimes an illusion, but a lack of offensive efficiency, too often end up bowing. Eleven times in 21 games (and two draws). This is obviously too much for a team that feeds global ambitions.

“The time for learning is over,” chanted Saint-Andre. Both the result of the way, his XV of France must be the last appointment. To find colors. In this sense, begin the year by the incandescent “crunch” is a godsend. By Saturday evening, it will be fixed. We know if these players have enough bone, character, talent to submit the arrogant English. Because they will indeed no excuse when facing the third consecutive XV de la Rose failure. This time they have – finally – had time to prepare the shock. Two weeks to heal body, improve automation, tweaking every detail. In order of battle, with the exception of the absence of the figurehead, Thierry Dusautoir, biceps broken.

To regain pride and smile, for to upgrade the gauge of confidence, the method is known. Louis Picamoles and Bastareaud open breaches blows shoulders; Alexander Flanquart giant came from Cambrai (2.06 m) reigns in the air, the melee submit the pack captain Chris Robshaw; Bernard Le Roux, the bluest of South Africans, cutting intrepid; Wesley Fofana Brice Dulin or engage in crazy races, that the foot of Marc Doussain does not tremble at the moment punish opposing offenses; Jules Plisson Opener deemed impervious to pressure, remains. And that the top of its 22 years, the Parisian is necessary input as playmaker, the missing link of the XV of France in search of certainties for two years too long.

The XV Of France Against England:

Domingo, Kayser, Mas – Flanquart, Pape (cap) – Nyanga, Le Roux, Picamoles – Doussain, Plisson – Medard, Fofana, Bastareaud Huget – Dulin


Szarzewski, Slimani, Forestry, Maestri, Burban, Chouly, Machenaud, Fickou