Call us crazy but we think there’s a chance France could surprise everyone this year and end up winning the 2015 Six Nations;
This year the French backline is peppered with try scoring threats, particularly out wide who have proven to be effective at getting over the whitewash. This time Yoann Huget scored several key tries during the Six Nations, whilst on the other wing Teddy Thomas already has four tries in two games. Add into that the likes of Wesley Fofana and it looks like Les Bleus could be primed for a few high scoring games.
2.Dusautoir Is Back
Last year it was obvious that the French seriously missed having captain Thierry Dusautoir in the side as they limped their way through the tournament. This year Dusautoir is fit and ready to once again lead France into Six Nations battle. Although he may not be the flashiest of players, his tireless work rate and turnovers could prove key for France. He also appears to be a calming influence on the side.
Although there have been a few changes to the side from last year’s Autumn International series (some enforced), the bulk of this French side have retained their places in the starting XV. This added familiarity will be a big bonus for France as in previous years they have struggled to establish a regular side. It means key combinations can once again come together and try to flourish as the tournament goes on.
One of the biggest issues for France over the last five or six years has been the lack of a regular fly half. It seems though that they have now finally settled on Clermont’s Camille Lopez who has had a fantastic season so far. He is a much steadier hand that some who have gone before him, whilst still containing enough spark to get into the right areas of the field and ensuring Les Bleus exploit any try scoring opportunities.
5.The South African Influence
The France starting XV includes two players born and bred South Africans in Rory Kockott and Scott Spedding. There is however no doubting their commitment to the French cause as both players are clearly passionate about playing for their adopted country. Not only this but they have both been stand-out performers in the Top 14 over the last few years and proved during the Autumn Internationals that they belong on the international stage.
Our final reason is quite simply that this is France. You have to remember that this is a side that limped their way through 2010-2011 only to find themselves in the Rugby World Cup final where they were just a few points away from the title. The reality is that France are a basket case of a side that are likely to either play sublimely or completely bomb. Depending on which French side turn up, we could well see them battle their way to a Grand Slam.
Do you think France can claim the Six Nations title?