Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Chabal wants to have a much bigger impact

Sebastien Chabal is back on the bench for France but he is adamant he does not want to settle for being an ‘impact player’ for the rest of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Chabal started for Les Bleus in last weekend’s 30-21 defeat to Ireland in their Six Nations opener but will be a replacement tomorrow when France look to bounce back with a victory over Scotland in Paris.

Of Chabal’s 43 appearances for his country, 20 have been as a substitute and his swashbuckling, destructive style has led to him being tagged with this ‘super sub’ status.

That was especially the case during the 2007 World Cup when he came off the bench to great effect in a number of matches.

The Sale Sharks forward insists he has plenty more to offer than that.

"I have never considered myself an ‘impact player’," he said.

"When I am on the bench, it is clear that I bring gas and penetrative qualities when I come on. But when I start a match, I am also picked for the same reasons. The most important thing is that I remain in the squad."

Chabal makes way for Toulouse lock Romain Millo-Chluski, who will partner captain Lionel Nallet in the second row against the Scots.

That should result in France having more of a presence at the breakdown than they had at Croke Park, where Chabal — a number eight by trade — as often seen hanging about on the fringes.