Mermoz: There was no squabble
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 17:03
I was ill and I didn't reply
France centre Maxime Mermoz, dropped from the France side after the second Six Nations defeat to Wales, on Tuesday insisted that he had not fallen out with coach Philippe Saint-Andre.
"There's no misunderstanding. I've got my ideas but the selectors made their choice and I respect them," the Toulon player said in an interview with AFP.
"Patrice [Lagisquet, Saint-Andre's assistant] tried to call me but I was ill and I didn't reply. You can give any excuse but it's up to me to prove my worth and work hard," he added.
Mermoz said that given France's plight - rock bottom of the Six Nations table and playing this weekend to avoid the humiliation of four defeats in the tournament - it was more important to focus on turning around the side's fortunes than his own.
The 26-year-old, capped 24 times for Les Bleus, played in the World Cup Final against New Zealand and was in the side for the Six Nations defeats to Italy (18-23) and Wales (6-16).
"Against Italy, there was a sense of a lack of ambition. Against Wales, defensively I did my job. In attack, when you are the outside centre, it's not easy to take the initiative. You're up against it.
"Against England, there were counter-attacks which wasn't the case against Italy and Wales," added Mermoz, attributing the side's current woes to too many matches that had left players "mentally worn-out" before even the start of the Six Nations.
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