France: We have to give Lopez the keys and let him play his game

NEXT UP IN our team-by-team Six Nations guide is France as our auld mucker Jeremy from the Bajadita rugby blog runs the rule over PSA and Les Bleus.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Who will win the Six Nations?

Ireland, because they play against France and England in Dublin this year.

How are our French friends shaping up this year?

We are still looking for a good Six Nations since PSA is the head coach. Our November tour was good despite the defeat against Argentina.

Six months out from the World Cup, how is Saint-Andre handling the pressure?

It is very difficult for him. PSA has the worst ratio of wins of any head coach. He’s still looking for a victory against one of the big nations like New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland or Wales.

He’s still looking for a team as well. On Saturday, Kockott – Lopez will be the 14th half-back combo since he took charge, and he’s called up 80 players as well in that time. It’s considerable.

Clermont’s Camille Lopez will be France’s key man. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Who or what is your biggest concern in the French team?

The problem is that we don’t have a style of play. We always are looking for that. We have to develop the parts that make us different and not try to play another team’s style.

Who will be you key player this season?

I want to say Camille Lopez. He is an unpredictable player and can make a difference at any moment. But we have to give him the keys and let him play his game.

Philippe Saint-Andre faces another tricky campaign. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Name a player (from your own or any nation) who will be a surprise package this year 

Again, Lopez. Maybe Guilhem Guirado as well. He has been the first-choice hooker  since the tour in Australia last June. If he gets time, you have to keep an eye on Romain Taofifenua. He’s a monster with very good dexterity.

Which game are you looking forward to most of all?

Like every year, “Le Crunch”, especially if the two teams are playing for a Grand Slam in the last game, although I don’t think that will be the case.

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Originally published at 08.30

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