Quick links: Rugby Video | Six Nations Rugby | Premiership Rugby | LV= Cup | Rugby Championship | Heineken Cup Rugby | Pro 12 Rugby | Super Rugby | Currie Cup Rugby | Rugby World Cup

Saint-Andre: Scotland 6 Nations match is pivotal

Email Article | | Print Article | Click here for a free $150 Bet

Article Published: Monday 20 February 2012

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre says that this coming weekend's Six Nations clash against Scotland will be pivotal moment in his first tournament as the national boss.

The 44-year-old former France captain, who replaced Marc Lievremont after the French lost 8-7 to New Zealand in last year's World Cup final, takes his side to Edinburgh on the back of a convincing enough 30-12 win over Italy.

However, their second match at home to Ireland ended in a farcical last minute abandonment while the Scots went down to a second successive defeat as Wales overcame them 27-13 following a narrow opening day 13-6 defeat by England.

Saint-Andre, though, refused to be lulled into a false sense of security that his side made up largely of World Cup veterans with a few fresher faces would walk all over their opponents.

"One saw that in the World Cup and then in the Six Nations against England and Wales that Scotland are a team who likle to throw the ball around a lot, keep the ball and create a lot of scoring opportunities," said the former Gloucester, Sale and Toulon coach.

"Alas for them, they didn't take them and they were punished for not doing so.

"For us as well, this match could prove to be a turning point. This will be crucial for in terms of morale and confidence it is always best to put a string of victories together."

Saint-Andre said that the aborted Irish match now gave him an unexpected whole month with the players.

"We can take what we are working on that bit further in both the technical and strategic levels," said Saint-Andre.

"And in terms of the human side it is almost like a World Cup preparation.

"In my role as coach I am going to get to know the players a lot better and also their characters.

"It is a very positive thing to have in one's first season. We are going to have two sessions of two weeks apiece but we will give them a day or a day-and-a-half off in the middle so that they can go home because we have a lot of husbands and fathers.

"As well as giving them some intellectual breathing space, it is also important from a physical level as well."

Saint-Andre admitted that it would take good management in keeping the players fit and fresh for the four matches that lay ahead with a really tough potential Grand Slam decider against Wales as their final match in Cardiff.

"We have four weeks to manage them as best as possible," he said.

"It is vital to work them physically so that there are no 'not so good' moments in the four weeks but also to find times where the players can have time to recuperate.

"It will be very good for the level of morale and workload, but it is imperative to find the right balance of preparation, competition and rest."

Heineken Cup Rugby News
Armitage slapped with 12 week ban for misconduct
Toulon fullback Delon Armitage has been given a 12 week suspension for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his team's 25-21 loss to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the European Rugby Champions third Round.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Castrogiovanni fined and has ban suspended
Harlequins lock Matthews could face one year ban
Wasps depart Adams Park with big Castres victory

More Heineken Cup Rugby News

Aviva Premiership
Surgery rules Launchbury out for up to four months
English Premiership Rugby club Wasps have announced that England International second rower Joe Launchbury will have surgery on his neck to decompress a nerve.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Exeter Chiefs re-sign three from current squad
Hartley one of seven to re-sign with Northampton
Leicester re-sign Youngs, Cole and Ayerza

More Aviva Premiership News

Anglo Welsh Cup News
Cardiff down Scarlets in Anglo Welsh LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues secured their second Anglo Welsh LV= Cup victory when they beat fellow Welsh side the Scarlets at the Arms Park on Friday night.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Dragons upset Ospreys in Anglo Welsh LV Cup
Leicester come from behind to beat Sale Sharks
Wasps down Exiles for first LV Cup victory

More Anglo Welsh Cup News

Six Nations Rugby
Under fire Johnson gets backing from bosses
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson has denied claims that Scott Johnson has been rewarded for failure after Scotland's miserable 2014 Six Nations campaign.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
England's Brown wins Six Nations best player
Scotland fullback Hogg gets three week ban
Warburton to be out of action for 'several months'

More Six Nations Rugby News

Rugby Week Sponsor
Latest Rugby video