Monday Feb 12, 2018 Lionel Beauxis return littered with comical inconsistency

Lionel Beauxis return littered with comical inconsistency
9
Comments

Lionel Beauxis made his first start for France since 2012 at the weekend in his side’s 32-26 defeat to Scotland in the 6 Nations, and produced a predictably unpredictable performance as only the stand-off could.

The Lyon out-half is a bit of an enigma in France, sometimes blowing hot, other times cold. But one thing is guaranteed with Beauxis, he is an intriguing player.

He settled right back into the #10 jersey he had been out of for so long and provided good direction and stability for a side desperately looking to nail down an out-and-out fly-half for the future.

The second half showed some of the negatives of Beauxis: a careless knock-on in the final quarter of the match from a poor Scotland kick and a silky reverse pass five metres from his own line which left full back Geoffrey Palis under enormous pressure.

Lionel Beauxis returns to his enigmatic best v Scotland

Speaking to L’Equipe post-match, Beauxis admitted to “playing a bit too fast” while the French daily announced “We found a Lionel Beauxis loyal to himself. A bit disconnected from reality” and lamented his “Offloads to no-one and risky volley… putting les bleus under pressure”.

While Beauxis’ overall performance was far from terrible, the selection of the 32-year-old instead of up-and-coming Toulon player Anthony Belleau puts the spotlight on a larger issue for the French.

France lost at 10

New head coach Jacques Brunel said at the start of the 6 Nations campaign that he wanted to change the way France played, and that the half-backs would be crucial.

He gave a debut to teenager Matthieu Jalibert in the opening round – only for Jalibert to go off injured – and has included Belleau among the replacements for both matches.

These two are arguably the future of France, provided they can remain uninjured. But while the talent has invariably always been there, questions are still raised about the management of the team.

Brunel said Beauxis was picked “due to his impressive kicking game” he has demonstrated with Lyon this season. The question many asked, including L’Equipe was: “If this was the case, why were kicking duties given to scrum-half Maxime Machenaud, and latterly his replacement Baptiste Serin?”

“Mystère!” exclaimed L’Equipe, and it really is.

In his tenure, Guy Novès used seven different combinations at half-back, some due to injury (Camille Lopez), though often only because none of the others seemed to work.

The good news is that Brunel probably has his ideal pair of half-backs now, in Dupont-Belleau and Parra-Jalibert/Lopez. The bad news is that of this quintet, four of them are out of action until further notice.

Once France can get a solid, regular half-back pairing and a 10 who will control and attack with moderation, les bleus can think about a true resurrection.

The good (and bad) of Lionel Beauxis

“Tekkers” away to Bath in 2009…

…spoilt by this botched volley in the return leg.

9 Comments

  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    A story about Finn Russel's performance would have been more justified here

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    I agree....but Parra and Lopez are both out of commission right now! I'm telling you it's a curse, I'm sure there's some guy out there with a voodoo doll wearing a blue rugby shirt.....

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    To be fair, Serin-Jalibert, Parra-Lopez and Machenaud-Tales are all half-back combinations in the top 14. I don't really understand why you wouldn't just pick the Clermont half-backs to be honest, they have been one of the best teams in Europe over the last couple of years.

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    well generally we have an abundance of gifted scrum-halves. But not many 10's, and that's where foreign players come in.... It's a cultural thing too, as scrum-halves are expected to lead the whole team in France. So we never really had strong fly-halves. It's always been about the "demi de melee", even back in the 70's and 80's. Remember Fouroux ?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Exactly! They were the best choice as far as my uneducated view could see. I don't follow french rugby overall so I don't really know, but how do the French club teams fair in their FRENCH 9/10 partnerships? Seems that clubs bringing in these foreign players are doing wonders for themselves, but they're ruining their international team... ...again, from an uneducated outside view..

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    I think one of the biggest problems France have is that they never settle on a half back partnership. I have absolutely no idea who they would pick to start with every 9 and 10 fit, whereas for most if not all of the other nations ranked in the top 10 you have a pretty good idea of who they would pick with everyone fit.

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    it still bogles my mind that Trin Duc and Parra did not stay the first choice pairing for Les Bleus after the 2011 final. they were only 21 and 23 at the time! if only we had given them "les cles du camion"........it's all been downhill from there.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    He wasn't the worst fly-half on the pitch though. Still not sure why France would pick Jalibert and Belleau to begin with, then when Jalibert gets injured they call up Beauxis and start him instead.

    Reply
  • He made 2 mistakes in pretty much the whole game, he outplayed Finn Russel!!

    Reply

Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All

Funnies

View All

Training Videos

View All

Player Features

View All
Lionel Beauxis return littered with comical inconsistency | RugbyDump