Wesley Fofana: 'I'm happy to be seen as a French general'
Published 20/02/2014 | 13:38
Wesley Fofana admits he is comfortable with the growing leadership role he has assumed during France's push for RBS 6 Nations honours this season.
Fofana and company arrive at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night, when victory over reigning Six Nations champions Wales would make it three wins out of three and leave Les Bleus firmly on a title and Grand Slam course.
And Clermont Auvergne centre Fofana is pivotal to those hopes, having featured prominently during opening successes against England and Italy.
Fofana's touchdown during the 30-10 stroll past Italy gave him his ninth Test touchdown in just 23 appearances for Les Bleus.
And while much is being made of the anticipated bone-crunching midfield collisions between rival centres George North and Mathieu Bastareaud on Friday, Fofana's flair and individual brilliance could prove an even more telling factor.
"I have absolutely no problem with being a leader out on the pitch, but I don't have a rugby lesson to be given out," Fofana told www.rbs6nations.com
"I am just going to show the right way to play, as far as I know, and do what I can.
"A few years ago, I just had to catch the ball and run with it in order to help the team. Now, I try to be a creator, while also being a finisher when required and the chance is there.
"My role is to speak to the threequarters and to the forwards. Most importantly, that has forced me to open up to others, and I take pleasure in doing it.
"I have been with the team a while now. I know the systems in place, I know where we want to get to, and if I can bring something to the team out on the pitch then that is great.
"I am not here to hand out lessons. though, to tell people that they have to do this or that. I prefer to let my actions do the talking."
France have triumphed on five of their previous seven visits to Cardiff in the Six Nations, but coach Philippe Saint-Andre expects a stern examination for a team showing just one change from the side that accounted for Italy, with flanker Wenceslas Lauret replacing an injured Bernard Le Roux,
"We know the Welsh team, how they work and their tendency to launch attacks after the lineout." Saint-Andre said.
"They are a team who like to keep the ball in play beyond the two minutes, so we need to make sure we have a back-row that will scrap and tackle hard.
"Wen (Lauret) comes back after a quality match with Racing last week, so to put him with Yannick (Nyanga) and Louis (Picamoles) is a logical choice with regard to the balance of our back-row."