France 'like clowns in a circus'

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:29
Large jeremy guscott

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott has hit out at the current France team, saying watching them is "like watching clowns at the circus".

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott has hit out at the current France team, saying watching them is "like watching clowns at the circus".

Guscott played against several brilliant France backs in the course of his career including Philippe Sella and Serge Blanco.

Indeed he was a member of the England side when fullback Blanco launched a stunning move from behind his own post that culminated in a sensational try for current France coach Philippe Saint-Andre at Twickenham back in 1991.

But Guscott has seen little evidence of similar adventure in the present-day Les Bleus, who lost 6-27 to Wales in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Friday - after beating Italy 30-10 and starting the tournament with a thrilling 26-24 win over England.

"I sat in the Stade de France during the 30-10 win over Italy two weeks ago and I was gobsmacked at France's tactics," Guscott, one of England's best ball-playing centres, told the BBC.

"It was a case of 'let the forwards stick it up their jumpers and try to bully and smash their way through'. It was lacklustre and unimaginative in every single way.

"The French attacking line was just so flat against Italy and so laboured as they lost 27-6 to Wales. So laboured, in fact, that the couple of scoring opportunities they had, they couldn't finish."

Guscott added: "What saddens me is that their players don't seem to have a voice. I cannot begin to understand how the likes of Hugo Bonneval, Yoann Huget and Wesley Fofana are happy to play in this restrictive, boring, low-risk manner.

"France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre likes big, strong teams that smash it up front. Given the exciting France team he played in, that's slightly weird."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 12 February 2016
Scarlets v Edinburgh 22 | 21
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 26 | 14
Leinster v Zebre 52 | 0
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 13 | 10
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 21 | 26
Mon, 08 February 2016
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 17 | 23
UJ v NMMU-Madibaz 19 | 12
Maties v CUT-Ixias 40 | 0
UWC v UKZN-Impi 13 | 24
Wits v TUT 53 | 0
UP-Tuks v NWU-Pukke 15 | 38
Sun, 07 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 16 | 16
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 11 | 14
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 20 | 13
Sat, 06 February 2016
Scotland v England 9 | 15
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 1 1 0 0 2
France 1 1 0 0 2
Ireland 1 0 1 0 1
Wales 1 0 1 0 1
Italy 1 0 0 1 0
Scotland 1 0 0 1 0