Six Nations
France seek 'spectacular' start under new coach Guy Noves
ESPN Staff
January 28, 2016
© Stu Forster/Getty Images

New France coach Guy Noves is eager for his pack to set a platform in the Six Nations and make up for a dismal exit from last year's Rugby World Cup.

Noves, the former Toulouse coach, picks up the reigns from Philippe Saint-Andre, whose tenure ended with a record 62-13 defeat by New Zealand in the World Cup quarterfinal in Cardiff in October.

In four Six Nations tournaments under Saint-Andre, France never finished above fourth and even took the wooden spoon in 2013. Saint-Andre also failed to get the better of New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland or Wales and Noves has promised to address the dull brand of rugby France played under their former leader.

"Every time we won a title with Toulouse, we did it thanks to great performances from our forwards, who allowed our backs to shine," Noves said. "Rugby starts with the forwards.

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"I have also said that the last World Cup showed that the effective teams were also spectacular. They gave a very positive image of world rugby.

"Our ambition is to understand that that is the way the future of rugby is going."

Noves seems set to oversee a Les Bleus rebuild with captain Thierry Dusautoir, the 80-times capped back-rower, lock forward Pascal Pape and fly-half Frederic Michalak having all retired from international rugby following the World Cup.

Bulldozing centre Mathieu Bastareaud was also omitted from Noves' first squad, with the new coach planning for the long term as well as the short by naming eight uncapped players in his 31-man party.

"We want to build a team who will be able to improve a lot, and not taking players who would not be with us in two or three years," Noves said.

"We tried to prepare a France group that, for the most part, will go along with us over the next four years.

"In the short term, what I'd like to see (from the players) is an attitude.

"It's about giving your best from the first to the last minute, almost without worrying about the result, the points scored and conceded.

"It's about taking to the pitch with one single desire: push your own machine to its extremes for 80 minutes.

"It's about showing the French public they can be proud of their team."

Information for the Press Association was used in this report.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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