Don't make us scapegoats

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:42
Large philippe saint andre looks Large top 14 general tackle 630 Large french top 14 trophy 630

French clubs fired back at criticism labelling them as the main reason France performed so badly in the recently-concluded Six Nations.

French clubs on Wednesday fired back at criticism labelling them as the main reason France performed so badly in the recently-concluded Six Nations.
 
France finished the tournament with the wooden spoon, with just one victory to their credit, over Scotland, and a draw against Ireland.
 
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre laid a large part of the blame for the poor performances at the door of an overloaded domestic playing schedule, which he hopes will be revised when the clubs, the players representatives and the French federation meet in the coming weeks.
 
Saint-Andre's concerns were also voiced, to little avail, by his two predecessors, Marc Lievremont and Bernard Laporte.
 
But Paul Goze, president of the French national rugby league (LNR), which oversees the professional 15-a-side game in France (Top 14, Pro D2), hit back Wednesday, insisting that it was unfair for the clubs to be labelled as responsible.
 
"Clubs and the Top 14 are often made the scapegoats when the results (of the national side) are disappointing," said Goze.
 
"We're nice guys, we want to understand fully, but we have to put it into context. We're all for improvement but we don't want to be the scapegoats.
 
"We can't say that we're the best club championship in the word and then say that that causes all the problems."
 
Saint-Andre's warning that internationals not released earlier for better preparation camps with the France side might see their places "under threat" was "exaggerated", according to Goze.
 
"It's the type of outburst we have now but it wasn't the same at the end of November [when France won all three internationals against Australia, Argentina and Samoa].
 
"Then we won and now we lost. If the point Philippe Saint-Andre is making was so fundamentally true and irrevocable, it was also true on November 25."
 
Goze, however, remained optimistic about the June meeting between the interested parties, a hot topic among which will be the debate over the percentage of "home-bred" players required at clubs, currently standing at 60 percent of the squad.
 
The percentage of those so-called "Jiff" players will fall to 55 percent next season, and Saint-Andre and Goze both seem to agree that it should be on the match sheet and not the overall squad.
 
"I'm not blocked on the issue," he said. "We're for the improvement of French rugby.
 
"We want to help the French XV blossom without that penalising us. There's no antagonism."
 
AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0