Thursday, February 04, 2010
Saracens scrumhalf Justin Marshall travelled to Paris recently to have a chat with his old mate, current Racing Metro flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens, about the upcoming Six Nations, and France in particular.
Marshall and Mehrtens were halfback partners for both the All Blacks and Crusaders on many occasions, so the banter is always good when these two characters of the game get together.
As is touched on, French rugby is in a pretty good place right now. The Top 14 is littered with talent, both local and foreign, and the national side goes into this Six Nations after having beaten the Springboks convincingly just a couple of months back.
As always though, there is a down side to the French game, and that is the inconsistency that exists. You just don't know if France will arrive to play, or simply be brushed aside as we saw a week after that great win, when they went down to the All Blacks.
The bookies have tipped France to be a favourite though, as their mix of naturally gifted backs and physically dominant forwards may well click, and perhaps this will be their championship.
Mehrtens, who's spent a few years playing in France now - first with Toulon and then with Racing Metro - gives his feelings on who to watch out for in this years tournament, talks about why French flair is a myth, and shows off by speaking in Welsh. Enjoy.
French Flair - tries from 1970 to 1999
Note: Thanks to ScrumV