Pape troubled by French foreign legion

Wed, 22 Jan 2014 14:49
Large pascal pap    philippe sain

France captain Pascal Pape has hit out at a rash of high-profile foreign signings by Top 14 clubs, saying they were damaging the national side.

France captain Pascal Pape has hit out at a rash of high-profile foreign signings by Top 14 clubs, saying they were damaging the national side.

The likes of England great Jonny Wilkinson, Australia's Matt Giteau and a host of South Africans are at Toulon, while a host of players have left Wales for the lure of a big-money contract in France.

Last season was one of France's worst in recent memory, with coach Philippe Saint-Andre's finishing bottom of the Six Nations Championship table.

"To fill in some positions in the team can become very difficult indeed," said Stade Francais lock Pape, leading France in place of the injured Thierry Dusautoir, at the Six Nations launch in London on Wednesday.

"My club trusts home-grown players and that's important, and I wish more did the same.

"Other clubs don't, it's a shame and it impacts on the national side.

"It is something that we could really do with changing."

In the professional era the Six Nations after a British and Irish Lions tour has seen France take the title.

But with a match at home to England or Les Rosbifs as they are known in France, in Paris on February 1 as his side's tournament 'starter' a concerned Saint-Andre was taking nothing for granted.

"We don't start with a starter: we start with the main course, Les Rosbifs straight away," said the former France captain.

"When you finish bottom in 2013 it's difficult to say you are favourites in 2014, Wales and England are still the favourites.

"Last year it was very painful because small details make the difference.

"I hope that statistic about the Lions tour can be right again, but we cannot expect after our performance last year.

"When the Lions finish late, in July, it is unusual for them and they play more games.

"But playing 40 games a year is nothing new for our players."

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