Six Nations 2012: France’s Yoann Maestri awaits English challenge

France second row Yoann Maestri expects England to pose a threat to their hopes of winning the Six Nations Grand Slam

stuart lancaster
England take on France at the Stade de France on Sunday PA Photos

stuart lancaster

France second row Yoann Maestri admits Sunday’s Six Nations clash with England at the Stade de France will be their toughest yet.

Maestri has been one of the discoveries of the tournament becoming a pillar of the French pack in wins over Italy and Scotland, and being named man of the match in the draw against Ireland last week.

And with Le Crunch having a reputation for being one of the most fierce rivalries in the game, Maestri is conscious that Les Bleus will have to be at their best to win and keep their Championship hopes alive.

“It will be even tougher than the others,” he said.

“We will have to be ready to fight. The English have a big side. Even if they have changed several players, they have produced three good performances.

“They have a good scrum and an impressive lineout. The defensive strategy is particularly effective, they have players who stop you going through the phases by slowing down the ball.

“We need to continue being very disciplined because it’s an important asset at this level. In the big games you can’t afford to give away easy points and let the score get away from you. Indiscipline can be very costly, so you need to be intelligent at the breakdown.

“When I was younger I had a habit of giving away silly penalties, but I’ve tried to take more responsibility.

“You have to work for the team and not get to caught up in the individual battles. Especially the second rows who are often exposed in the rucks.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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