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Philippe Saint-Andre hits out at underperforming France squad

Philippe Saint-Andre warns his players to step up their performance or risk being dropped for the final two games of the Six Nations championship.

Philippe Saint-Andre has slammed his France players for failing to fight for the shirt in their 20-13 reverse against Wales.

Les Bleus suffered defeat against the Red Dragons for the fourth game in succession in yesterday's meeting at the Stade de France and find themselves two points off the pace in the Six Nations standings.

The loss follows on the back of a similarly disappointing defeat against Ireland, and Saint-Andre says that he is now tired of repeatedly defending his star players.

"International rugby is about combat, humility. But above all it's a collective sport. We don't need starlets," the 47-year-old is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News. "In rugby, the team is the star and we need champions. Yesterday, I didn't see any champions, or not many.

"I only want players who are ready to go to the end of the world. If anyone thinks that international rugby is too difficult, then they have my telephone number. They can call me and I'll take someone else. I'll even take a 20-year-old lad who's never played in the Top 14 before.

"I've covered and supported them for three years. At some stage you need to know how to win games at the highest level. The French jersey should not only be something you're proud of but also something that enables you to surpass yourself. You need to be a gladiator. We have guys who started playing three years ago and now have 30 caps. It's time to stop hiding."

Saint-Andre took over as coach of the French national team after the 2011 World Cup final.

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France's rugby union national team head coach, Philippe Saint-Andre, gives a press conference to announce the team for the 6 nations rugby union match between France and England, on January 30, 2014
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