sport

Saint-Andre fears for France

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre fears for the future of French rugby in the wake of their third successive Six Nations defeat.

France went down 23-13 to England in a hard-fought clash at Twickenham and Les Bleus are bottom of the table after adding to reverses in Italy and at home to Wales.

Saint-Andre feels the multi-national nature of the domestic Top 14 competition is causing most of the problems, something he recalls England having similar problems with a few years ago.

"Fair play to English rugby. Seven or eight years ago they had a lot of overseas players in the English league and they had a change of politics," Saint-Andre said.

"And I think they were completely spot-on. For us, we have had 12 or 15 years and we still haven't changed it.

Worse

"I think it will be worse and worse because next year, (Jonathan) Sexton will arrive and three or four other overseas fly-halves will arrive.

"We have some positions - tighthead, fly-half, wing, full-back - that will maybe next year be 90 per cent overseas players.

"So we need to be careful about the future of French rugby. I said this in November. It is better to say this when you win. It is not an excuse about this loss. I have worked in England and I have worked in France and I think you need to congratulate English rugby for the last eight years.

"Now you have 50 or 60 young kids of 22, 23 or 24 doing very well for England."