Parra admits French are at a loss

Vincent Clerc accepts current Six Nations leaders England are the best team in the tournament this year while France, Ireland and the others are struggling to stay on terms.

The Toulouse wing will look to help France to a 12th win in their last 13 games against Ireland today to arrest a run of three successive Six Nations defeats.

“I feel like it’s the first year where there’s a lot of uncertainty on every game,” he said. “Only one team, England, is confident and slightly above the others, while the others are still looking for the right formula.

“We were used to seeing two or three teams with a good handle on their games and systems. Besides England, I don’t feel a lot of confidence among the other nations.”

Starting scrum-half Morgan Parra, who retained his place in the French 15 to partner recalled fly-half Frederic Michalak said he was happy to hand the majority of the place-kicking to his gifted yet unpredictable team-mate.

“Frederic is our number one kicker, and I’ll be there to help if he needs me to,” Parra said. “We’ll try to communicate, and if at times he doesn’t feel up to the task, I will take over.

“But if the choice had been given to me, I would have picked Frederic as number one. He’s in good form right now, he took over for me against England when I was struggling a bit.

“You need a clear hierarchy to prepare for a game, the number one kicker needs to know from the beginning of the week that he’ll have to take his responsibilities.

“It doesn’t change much before the game anyway, or during the game. I’ll do it if Fred needs me to, right now he doesn’t.”


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