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Lievremont calls on France to finally deliver

France coach Marc Lievremont believes now is the time for his players to come of age as they prepare to take on Scotland in their Six Nations opener at Murrayfield tomorrow.

Les Bleus have failed to impress during Lievremont's two tournaments at the helm, having won the previous two under Bernard Laporte.

But Lievremont is sure his team will prove their worth this month.

"We have committed ourselves to a dynamic of progression, of consistency," he said. "The World Cup is far off. There is still a Six Nations in 2011, an autumn tournament, one in the spring. But to validate the progression of this France team, we need to commit ourselves to the continuity of our performances.

"I feel it is time. We're dreaming that this is the France team's year with victory in the Six Nations, if possible a Grand Slam."

France's preparations for the game have been hampered by injuries.

Already without Biarritz trio Fabien Barcella, Damien Traille and Dimitri Yachvili, now Sebastien Chabal, Romain Millo-Chluski and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde have all pulled out of tomorrow's opener.

But Lievremont wants his players to continue their quest for consistency.

"Beyond the hazards of injury, possible reduction in some people's form, we kept the focus on continuity.

"Players have to be masters of their game, they have to be more demanding, almost uncompromising, that they learn how to collectively detest defeat. There is still a lack of consistency in the results, because we have still not been able to secure a run of three consecutive victories."

Meanwhile, Richie Gray is pinching himself at the prospect of making his Scotland debut less than nine months after making his Glasgow bow.

"It's been a dream and ambition to get in the Scotland team but I didn't believe it would come this soon," said Gray.

SCOTLAND v FRANCE Live RTE 2/BBC 1, Tomorrow (KO 3.0)


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