Dusautoir to skipper France once again
February 5, 2013
Thierry Dusautoir will lead out France against Wales on Saturday © Getty Images
Pascal Pape captained France against Italy on Sunday but was forced off early in the second-half with a back injury. Dusautoir, the 2011 IRB Player of the Year, skippered France throughout the 2012 Six Nations but sat out the autumn internationals as he was battling back from injury. But with Pape sidelined, Dusautoir will take on the captain's armband once again.
Saint-Andre has opted to draft in Toulon's Jocelino Suta as a replacement for Pape in the squad but despite their 23-18 loss to Italy on Sunday, the French coach is reluctant to make wholesale changes.
"Aside from Pascal Pape's injury we resisted the temptation to make changes to the squad as we wanted to work on turning them into a more cohesive unit and also we have one day less to prepare them for the game," Saint-Andre said. "I hope that will pay off in terms of cohesion and defying the Welsh on Saturday and there will be a united hunger to do so.
"I have along with Yannick Bru (the forwards coach) and Patrice Lagisquet (the backs coach), re-watched the match several times, analysed and dissected the game and the players. We have remarked on several moments of errors and lack of lucidity and fluency in Sunday's game.
"It is imperative that our team rediscovers its' collective hunger, enthusiasm and spontaneity. The tournament is far from over, our ambition is still there to show our best in a high quality competition."
France squad: Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), Luc Ducalcon (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Jocelino Suta (Toulon), Romain Taofifenua (Perpignan), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse/capt), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Benjamin Fall (Racing-Metro), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon).
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success