Sport Rugby

Saturday 16 December 2017

French to play ugly

FRANCE full-back Clement Poitrenaud has warned Ireland that they should not expect Les Bleus to continue their free-flowing approach tomorrow, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.

Last week, Ireland laboured to a 13-11 victory in Rome, needing a late Ronan O'Gara drop goal to deny Italy a famous win, while France produced the flair that their play is so admired for as they ran in four tries in a 34-21 win over Scotland in Paris.

But Poitrenaud insists that the French will play pragmatic rugby.

"People should not count on me to run every ball that comes to me," said the recalled Toulouse man. "I have developed other facets to returning the ball other than running with it. If I need to use my kicking game, I will.

"The Irish know very well that we are, above all, fond of running the ball out of defence and they will be on their guard."

Poitrenaud is expecting Ireland to be much better than they were in Rome.

"We shouldn't pay too much attention to that match. They didn't play at their usual level, and they were missing several key players," he added.

"We can't fall into the trap of thinking that they are weaker, out of form or disorganised because we will face another Irish side on Sunday."

Irish Independent

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