Jauzion relishing Scotland test
February 5, 2010
Veteran Chris Paterson returns to the Scotland side for their Six Nations opener with France © Getty Images
France centre Yannick Jauzion has demanded his side raise their game for their Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Marc Lievremont's side recorded an unconvincing 22-13 win over Scotland at the Stade de France in the tournament last year in an error-strewn game. Jauzion knows it will be a different story at Murrayfield and has urged his team-mates not to let their guard down.
"Despite our victory, they put us in difficulty quite a few times," he told L'Equipe. "Maybe we weren't serious enough and coherent in defence. We let them get forward too many times. We managed to put right their attacks more often than not but we will not be able to repeat that sort of recovery in Scotland."
Jauzion and his controversial partner Mathieu Bastareaud will find themselves up against Max Evans and Graeme Morrison on Sunday. And the Toulouse man hopes his understanding with Bastareaud can help them combat the formidable Glasgow Warriors duo.
"I have already played with Mathieu, against Wales and England last year," said Jauzion. "It's above all down to our communication, that's key for our post in letting us get forward. It's normal that he'll get his bearings from me, he depends on my runs in organising the play. Last year we played well together.
"We played against the two Glasgow centres last year. Evans has great qualities with his explosive power and his outflanking. Morrison is more physical, capable of handling the ball for Scotland. They are not easy to defend against taking into account their complementary style of play and their capacity to play in the defence. Like the All Blacks, they initiate moves by having very close support of ball carriers."
Scot Morrison is determined to justify his Scotland recall by unleashing his full array of attacking skills against Les Bleus. Glasgow centre Morrison, 27, was axed for the final autumn international against Argentina after disappointing with the ball in hand during the victories over Fiji and Australia. But his excellent club performances since have convinced Robinson to partner him with Warriors team-mate Max Evans this weekend.
"Having gone back to Glasgow, it's been great for me to get a bit more ball in my hands and run, and show what I could do with it. So, I'll be looking to do that on Sunday."
He added, "The form that I've had in the past couple of months has given my confidence a real boost. I'm glad to be back and I'm going to do everything I can to be part of a win.
"The fact that I play with Max week in, week out may help to some extent," he said, adding the huge Warriors influence should pay dividends all over the field. We're lucky that we all get on well and we all work together well."
Scotland have not defeated France since 2006, the last time they won their opening Six Nations game and the last time they recorded more than one championship victory.
Their chances of repeating that result appear to have been boosted by the number of injuries their opponents are carrying ahead of Sunday's game.
But Morrison said: "They've got quality throughout their whole team and they have a certain strength in depth that many countries would be envious of. The players that are playing are world class in all their positions."