Beauxis tipped to shine
March 17, 2007
Lionel Beauxis has been tipped to excel as injured fly-half David Skrela's replacement in France's RBS 6 Nations Championship showdown with Scotland in Paris today.
Beauxis was drafted into Les Bleus' starting XV on Thursday night when Skrela was forced to pull out owing to a tibia injury he suffered in the defeat to England last weekend.
It will be the 21-year-old Stade Francais prodigy's first start for his country at the highest level.
He has already shown his talent by leading the French to the world title at under-21 level, while he has proved a more than able back-up to Skrela for Top 14 leaders Stade this season.
Yannick Jauzion, who will be outside the youngster in the centres, is not worried about Beauxis being thrown in at the deep end.
``Lionel has come off the bench several times already in this Six Nations,'' the Toulouse star said.
``He is someone with a lot of quality. He is as comfortable playing with his hands as he is with his feet.
``Despite his young age, he already has a certain amount of experience in this position. He is someone for the future.''
Jauzion added: ``He is reserved. He isn't the sort of person we are going to hear talking all that often.
``He doesn't put himself forward when we are all in a group, but we can't ask him to be a leader at his age.
``He will make himself known by the quality of play, his ability to find space and his ability to create holes in opposition defences.''
Beauxis is proud to have been selected, and said: ``I am very happy, that is for sure. My first start, and moreover it is at the Stade de France - it is a great moment.
``My parents will be there; for other games, they have just watched me on television. I am going to sleep well.''
In what is set to be a dramatic end to the tournament, France, Ireland and England - all of whom are on six points after four games - still have designs on the Six Nations title.
With England having an inferior points difference, it is expected to be a straight shootout between the French and the Irish.
Ireland play Italy away in today's first game so France, who have a marginally better points difference, will know what they need to do when they kick off against Scotland in today's second match.
Head coach Bernard Laporte does not believe that puts his team in the driving seat.
``We already need to win the match,'' he said. ``It is like in any match - if you are able to score 30 points, you score 30 points.
``It can give us some extra motivation knowing the Ireland score, but that will not make the Scots any worse.
``There is nothing to calculate, we are not going to wait for their result before we play.
``We have to go and try to win, to play a great match and win convincingly. That will be our aim.''
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay