Lievremont rules out major reshuffle

France head coach Marc Lievremont is not ready to make any rash changes in light of his team’s disappointing start to the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

France head coach Marc Lievremont is not ready to make any rash changes in light of his team’s disappointing start to the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Les Bleus were inconsistent and indisciplined in their 30-21 defeat to Ireland a fortnight ago and then put in an error-strewn display in beating a limited Scotland side 22-13 at the weekend.

They are still to find the right balance between the attacking approach Lievremont wants to adopt and maintaining the defensive steeliness that characterised the team during the Bernard Laporte era between 1999 and 2007.

France face arguably their most searching examination of the tournament next when reigning champions Wales visit Paris a week on Friday, but Lievremont has confidence in his current squad to turn things around.

“There will be continuity,” he said, when asked about his squad selection for the Wales game.

“I don’t see how, in this context, we could change a dozen players with just four days of training.

“We also have confidence in them. But I would have really liked to have kept the players this week.”

The French squad have returned to their clubs for this week and will reunite at Marcoussis on Sunday, for four days of work ahead of the Wales match.

Lievremont has been left with more questions than answers following the last two weeks of action.

The French seemed to be on the right track after the November Tests, but look to have taken a step back if the Ireland and Scotland games are anything to go by.

“We are a bit bewildered,” Lievremont admitted.

“On a day when our battling qualities and our discipline reassure us (against Scotland), there are other problems which are uncovered.

“We are going to continue to work in quite tricky conditions before hosting Wales on the Friday evening.”

Nicolas Mas is a major doubt for that match, the Perpignan prop having lasted just 40 minutes against the Scots before withdrawing with a thigh problem.

He could be sidelined for two weeks, making him a doubt for the Stade de France showdown.

With fellow props Lionel Faure and Benoit Lecouls also nursing injuries, there could be a return for Stade Francais’ Sylvain Marconnet when Lievremont names his 23-man squad on Wednesday.

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