Six Nations 2013: Claassen admits he didn’t expect Saint-Andre call
Six Nations 2013: Antonie Claassen says he never expected to be called up to France's squad by Philippe Saint-Andre
Antonie Claassen admits the thought of being called into France’s Six Nations squad had never crossed his mind – paying tribute to his Castres teammates for helping him get there.
The 28-year-old uncapped flanker’s inclusion was one of five changes made by head coach Philippe Saint-Andre to the 23-man squad for the clash against England at Twickenham.
France are currently bottom of the Six Nations table having lost their opening two games of the Championship, first 23-18 to Italy in Rome and then 16-6 to Wales in Paris.
As well as Claassen into the squad for the England clash at Twickenham have come wing Vincent Clerc, Yannick Nyanga, prop Thomas Domingo and Christophe Samson.
And, while Claassen may have been the man receiving what he describes as an unexpected call from Saint-Andre, he insists he couldn’t have done it without those at Castres.
“I’m very proud and happy, this is a real honour for me,” said Claassen.
“Philippe rang me up to tell me the good news and I really didn’t expect it all, it had never even entered my head to be honest that I would be called up.
“It’s fantastic; I will give it my all. My Castres teammates are really happy for me, and this selection is above all down to them. Without the other guys around me this would never have been possible.”