Six Nations 2013: Top 14 is hindering France, says Philippe Saint-André

Six Nations 2013: Philippe Saint-André says France's domestic league, Top 14, is hindering his side's chances of title success

Sportsbeat
By    

Philippe Saint-André has accused France’s domestic league, the Top 14, of hurting his side’s chances with the Six Nations just days away.

Despite being among the pre-tournament favourites France ended the 2012 competition back in fourth as Wales took the Grand Slam honours.

However while Wales dominated that tournament, France – free from the salary cap – remains the number one domestic destination for the world’s premier players.

Saint-André however views the standard and the allure of the Top 14 as a double-edged sword, insisting the competition’s star quality brings with it a barrier to the development of French talent.

As a result Les Bleus have an embarrassment of riches in the centres for their trip to Italy on Sunday but at tight-head prop and fly-half the cupboard is relatively bare leaving Saint-André unimpressed.

“France have huge competition in some positions for this Six Nations – at centre we have Maxime Mermoz, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Aurélien Rougerie, Mathieu Bastareaud and Yann David – but not so much at No 10 and also at tight-head prop,” he said.

“In France last season we had just two tight-heads who were first choice for their clubs.

“On the wing last year I would say that of the 28 first-choice wings in the French T14, just eight were French. It is becoming difficult.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

MORE: Get TREBLE the odds on any sports bet. T&Cs apply

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Eden Hazard reacts to Diego Costa’s display in Man City v Chelsea
Slideshow
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
Slideshow
The Sport Review
The top 15 highest-paid football managers in 2016: Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea bosses feature
The Sport Review
Top 30 highest-paid Premier League players: Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Real Madrid player wages 2016: Can you guess how much Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale earn?
The Sport Review
Top 26 Christian footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd players feature
The Sport Review
Barcelona player wages 2016: Can you guess how much Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez earn?
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
15 Chelsea January transfer targets: Di Maria, Hazard, Lukaku, Verratti and more
The Sport Review
Top 25 most stylish footballers: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Guillem Balague replies when asked if Arsenal star Mesut Ozil wants to return to Real Madrid
The Sport Review
Jamie Carragher reacts to Liverpool’s 4-3 loss at Bournemouth
The Sport Review
Gary Neville brands Marouane Fellaini ‘pathetic’ after Man United’s 1-1 draw at Everton