France captain calls for hard work in final Six Nations match.
France can earn due reward for all their hard work during the Six Nations by beating Scotland in their final game here at the Stade de France on Saturday French captain Thierry Dusautoir said Friday.
The 31-year-old – who will captain the French for a record 35th time – added that the woeful campaign, which has seen them lose three and draw one, had unified the squad in the face of some biting criticism.
“These results have provided us with a rich seam of information which only served to take the squad forwards,” said the Ivory Coast-born flanker.
“It brings out the character in people and forges a unified squad, which can only prepare us for the victories that are to come.
“We weren’t used to the negative pressure that came with the poor performances. I have found that the guys have reacted pretty well because they haven’t allowed it to get them down.
“We continue to work all through the week. A win over Scotland will reward us for not having let up since the beginning.
“There is frustration at not having been able to validate all we have done in training these past few weeks on the pitch and having given the impression that we haven’t mastered the subject.
“However, I can assure you we have something left in the tank.”
Dusautoir, world player of the year in 2011 for his outstanding performances in the World Cup where the French lost 8-7 to the All Blacks in the final, said he and the team were desperate to bow out with a victory.
“We are really eager to win because it will do us good to troop off the pitch with a smile on our faces and to the applause ringing out in the Stade de France.
“It has been a bad Six Nations. Whether we finish fifth or sixth doesn’t interest anybody. It has been bad and at least that way things are clear. Finishing on a good note will do everyone the world of good.”
Dusautoir, whose side are in danger of their first wooden spoon since 1999 when it was the Five Nations, said their performance in the last 15 minutes against Ireland when they scored a converted try to force the draw could prove to be a psychological turning point.
“It was important. We were left with the feeling that we were capable of maintaining the intensity and showing character even under pressure,” he said.
“This team needed to reassure itself on that level.
“The second-half brought us confirmation of that. Look in the reference books, there are few teams who have succeeded in coming back against a dominant Irish side in the second-half of a game.
“To have done so shows that this team has the capacity to produce great performances.”