Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Harinordoquy issues Scots warning

Imanol Harinordoquy

France flanker Imanol Harinordoquy anticipates Scotland will provide a much sterner test for the Rugby World Cup finalists than many observers are anticipating in Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash at Murrayfield.

Les Bleus travel to Edinburgh having beaten Italy 30-12 before their match with Ireland was postponed, and face a Scotland side seeking to avoid a fifth straight loss for the first time since 2004.

Harinordoquy told the French media: "Maybe the Scots frighten us offensively as the Irish scare us defensively. There are not many teams who are able to do that, hold the ball for four, five minutes. They move the ball quickly and move around a lot. It's still easier to have the ball than to defend."

He added: "It takes a lot of energy (to defend) and we need to take the game by the throat and not let them advance down the field. Then it's up to us."

France travel to Edinburgh with head coach Philippe Saint-Andre having named the same starting XV and replacements' bench which had been due to play Ireland on February 11, only for the match to be postponed as a result of a frozen pitch at the Stade de France.

Biarritz back row Harinordoquy was included as one of four changes, having started on the bench for the win over Italy, replacing Julien Bonnaire.

In the front row, Jean-Baptiste Poux comes in for Vincent Debaty at prop, while hooker Dimitri Szarzewski replaces William Servat.

In the second row, Yoann Maestri has been given the nod ahead of Lionel Nallet and will make his first Test start.

Morgan Parra retained the scrum-half jersey, with Dimitri Yachvili (back) still out.