Saint-Andre has no regrets

Sun, 02 Mar 2014 19:03
Large philippe saint andre player

France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre insisted he had no regrets about suspending Louis Picamoles.

France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre insisted he had no regrets about suspending Louis Picamoles from next weekend's Six Nations clash with Scotland despite the latter's stunning form.

Picamoles was at his usual bristling and marauding best for Toulouse on Saturday in a crushing 37-9 defeat of Perpignan.

But he will be missing from Murrayfield next Saturday after he was punished by the French team for sarcastically applauding Irish referee Alain Rolland last weekend when he was sin-binned against Wales.

"I saw all the [Top 14[ matches [this weekend] and Louis produced a quality performance," said Saint-Andre.

"But then again, he knows why he is out of the group. The essence of our sport is control and respect for the referee's decisions.

"At an international level we are not allowed to applaud the referee after getting a yellow card.

"He knows that. He responded in the best way with a quality performance by passing and advancing. He was very, very good."

Saint-Andre also insisted that the decision to suspend Picamoles from the next Six Nations encounter showed no hint of double standards.

Clermont scrumhalf Morgan Para was originally included in the France 30-man preparatory squad for Saturday's match despite being sent-off last weekend for head-butting Montpellier's New Zealander Rene Ranger.

Para was subsequently banned for two weeks and as a result was ineligible for the Scotland game.

"There is a presumption of innocence in our country. We were obliged to pick him in the 30-strong group according to the rules between the French Rugby Federation and the clubs," said Saint-Andre.

"If we hadn't taken him prior to appearing before the [disciplinary] commission, that would have meant that we too thought he would be punished.

"From the moment he was guilty, we took him out of the group."

The pair will be a huge loss for France in this crucial match they must win if they wish to finish top of the pile at the end of the championship.

* Meanwhile hooker Guilhem Guirado has been called up to the France squad for next weekend's Six Nations match in Scotland, after Dimitri Szarzewski was ruled out with an ankle injury, the French Federation (FFR) said on Sunday.

Guirado, 27, won the last of his 18 international caps in June last year during a test in New Zealand.

France will be without their two first-choice hookers after Szarzewski injured his ankle in a French Top 14 match with his club Racing Metro on Saturday.

Benjamin Kayser was already sidelined for six weeks when he picked up a knee problem last month.

Having beaten England (26-24) and Italy (30-10) in their first two matches, last weekend's heavy reverse in Wales (27-6) was a major setback for Les Bleus and Saint-Andre is adamant they need a big performance against Scotland, whom Ireland (28-6) - France's final opponents at the Stade de France a week later - and England (20-0) have already beaten comfortably.

"First and foremost we're going to concentrate on the next match and try to give ourselves a [title] final at the Stade de France against Ireland.

"We're first ex aequo [equal, on points with Wales, Ireland and England], we have two matches of a very high level [to come] and we must do everything we can to win the Six Nations, starting with a massive performance in Scotland."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 2 1 0 1 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Scotland 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0