Clerc targets RWC berth
PA Sport
February 8, 2007

France winger Vincent Clerc is hoping to use the RBS 6 Nations Championship to establish himself in Les Bleus' squad for the World Cup.

Clerc has been called to replace Cedric Heymans ahead of Sunday's clash with Ireland, and although he is eager to help his side retain their crown, he has one eye on the autumn tournament in his home country.

He said: "In the short term, I want to help France win the Six Nations, but in the long term, I want to be in the 30 that goes to the World Cup.

"There are a lot of interesting aims this year. On Sunday against Ireland, it could be a turning point in the tournament."

Clerc was left out of the squad for the November Test series, but says it has been a case of being patient and proving himself ready when called upon.

He added: "I have just awaited my turn. I have worked hard on my wing (for Toulouse) and I clearly put myself back in the frame.

"I tried not to doubt myself, and continued to evolve and progress so I could be in the next squad.

"The next step will be in June, with the list of 40 (possibilities for the World Cup squad), then the 30 (final squad).

"I am happy to have taken this first step."

However, Clerc and Heymans are not the only players fighting it out for a place on the French wing at the World Cup, with Aurelien Rougerie and Christophe Dominci also in contention.

Clerc said: "This doesn't worry me - we are used to it.

"For five years I have had to battle for my place, as I have for my club.

"It's true that in the last few years I have been picked less, but each time I have been selected, I have tried to respond and be as effective as possible.

"At this level, you have to prove yourself every time - it is the same in every position. This competition is what is making us get better every day.

"I really want to play in games at the highest level and it's true that the World Cup is motivating me."

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