Le Bleu back themselves
11 Mar 2008
France believe they can beat Wales by 20 points or more in Cardiff to win the Six Nations.
That would see Le Bleu retain their title on points difference and shatter the Dragons’ Grand Slam dreams.
“It will be a final,” France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski told reporters. “Everything is possible. It will be very intense. Wales are full of confidence and will have the crowd on their side in that beautiful stadium. It will be deafening out there. Win by 20 points, why not? But we must concentrate on winning, not on the margin we need to do it by.”
However, on current form the French should struggle to beat Wales, let alone win by 20. Coach Marc Lievremont has introduced several new players this season and encouraged the team to play an expansive game. However, they have never really got going and could only beat Italy by 12 points at home last weekend.
Ironically, France entered their last match of last year’s Six Nations having to beat Scotland by 23 points to pip Ireland to the title. The French scored a dramatic injury-time try, which was referred to the TMO, and won by 27 points.
* Lievremont has recalled six experienced players for the Wales match. Scrumhalf Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, flyhalf David Skrela and fullback Cedric Heymans return, as well as hooker William Servat, flanker Thierry Dusautoir and No 8 Elvis Vermeulen.
Backs: Dimitri Yachvili, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, Francois Trinh-Duc, David Skrela, Yannick Jauzion, Damien Traille, Vincent Clerc, Julien Malzieu, Anthony Floch, Cedric Heymans.Forwards: Fabien Barcella, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Dimitri Szarzewski, Jerome Thion, Lionel Nallet, Arnaud Mela, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Elvis Vermeulen.