French Rugby
Chabal haunted by Wallabies thrashing
ESPNscrum Staff
January 12, 2011
France's Sebastien Chabal waits as the two packs prepare to lock down, France v Australia, Stade de France, Saint Denis, Paris, France, November 27, 2010
Sebastien Chabal's recent nightmares might look something like this © Getty Images

Sebastien Chabal has admitted France's surprise thrashing at the hands of Australia still haunts him.

The Wallabies finished off their European Tour with a 59-16 hammering of the Six Nations champions at Stade de France in November and with that also being France's last game of 2010, Chabal and his team-mates have as yet had no chance to redeem themselves.

Scotland should therefore beware a fired-up France when they meet at the same venue on February 5 to get their Six Nations defence underway.

"To be truthful, I was thinking about it for days afterwards and it is still on my mind, but there are so many other things like the European Cup and the championship, that you just have to focus on playing well for your club," Chabal told AFP.

"We were soundly beaten and we just could not understand how we collapsed like that in the second half - both physically and mentally. But it is useless to go on feeling sorry for ourselves."

Chabal said the lack of time spent together in training due to a crowded rugby calendar contributed to France's inability to execute their game plan, a view also held by skipper Thierry Dusautoir.

"What he said the day after the loss was that perhaps our tactics were too ambitious," Chabal said. "I am not saying that French players do not have the talent and abilities to play that way, but it is always the same problem - we simply do not have the time to work at training on these things.

"You need a lot of time working together and that is the big problem with our French rugby. The tactics that the coaching staff employed were perhaps not the best adapted to the time we had available to train for the match."

Chabal highlighted England as a potential threat to France's Six Nations crown after their impressive autumn form.

"They have a lot of talented players," he said. "I know some of them. We will try to win the tournament, but it is going to be tough."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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