Beauxis keen to prove worth
Lionel Beauxis is determined to prove he can call the shots for France in Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash with England - and shed an unwanted nickname.
The Toulouse fly-half, who will make his first France start in three years, has become known as Bernardo after Zorro's mute side-kick because of his introverted nature on the field.Beauxis hates it and knows the best way to shake the idea he is not commanding enough would be to lead France to to victory over England and keep their title hopes alive.
"From the moment this name became associated with me I have hated it," said Beauxis. "It has in fact motivated me more to shed this image. I have worked on myself. Since I left Stade Francais, I have made genuine efforts. Even if I still have work to do I find that a more extrovert side is coming more naturally to me."
Beauxis returns to the France starting line-up after coach Philippe Saint-Andre decided to change both his half-backs following last weekend's 17-17 draw with Ireland.
Beauxis replaces Francois Trinh-Duc and former Leicester scrum-half Julien Dupuy has been preferred to Morgan Parra.
"It's a strategic choice on my part. England are the team that occupy the field of play the most, especially away from home," Saint-Andre said. "It's also because during our first three games we struggled to really get going, and we had trouble getting out of our own half during the first 20 minutes."
Dupuy is equally frustrated about how he is perceived, although much of that was his own doing after he was banned for 23 weeks in December 2009 for gouging Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris in a Heineken Cup match.
That suspension halted Dupuy's Test career when he had just contributed to two of the best victories during the reign of Marc Lievremont, a 27-22 victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand and a 20-13 win against South Africa.
"Honestly it really annoys me that I am still asked about it three years after it happened," Dupuy said.
"It is in the past, it is something I should not have done, but I still think it was too heavy a punishment. Full stop."