France coach Marc Lièvremont says France need to learn the lessons from their roller coaster year, but start the Six Nations with a clean slate, writes Bea Asprey. Les Bleus started the year by winning a Grand Slam in last year’s Six Nations, but lost to South Africa and Argentina in the summer, and were humiliated 59-16 to Australia in November, and now Lièvremont is keen to learn focus on the task ahead of them, namely, Scotland at home on Saturday week.
“We can’t forget November, and we must strike a balance between the good, and June and Australia of 2010,” said Lièvremont. “We need to learn from November, but it’s important to focus now on our first match.”
France’s opening match against Scotland is at home, and they will be favourites to win that match, but Lièvremont is keen not to get carried away with public expectation.
“Starting at home is a way to start comfortably, but we must respect Scotland,” said Lièvremont. “Scotland played very well last year against Wales and England, and they beat Argentina away in the summer, so we know what they are capable of. We know we are under pressure to start well, and we’ve seen from Wales, Ireland and ourselves what happens when you win your opening game.”
Lièvremont was as cool as ever at today’s RBS 6 Nations launch despite coming under fire in recent weeks and he continued: “The Stade de France is becoming our new play pen. We’ve had some fantastic wins there as well as some cruel defeats, and now it’s just a question of getting the confidence of our spectators back.”