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Time matters to Saint-Andre

New France boss Philippe Saint-Andre is confident he can end 100 years of French rugby fragility - but only if he is given more time with his players.

Saint-Andre called on his country's professional teams and rugby federation to do more to help him conquer the inconsistency that has dogged Les Bleus throughout their entire history.

The former Sale head coach only met his 30-man provisional RBS 6 Nations squad for the first time on Sunday, but must now release them back to their clubs for matches this weekend, and ahead of next weekend's tournament opener against Italy, he admitted: "It's tough. We are the only country who have the league Friday and Saturday."

He added: "I will announce the squad of 23 tomorrow (Thursday) but I will cross my fingers that the guys will be okay after the games this weekend.

"We know the other countries have much more time to prepare."

He continued: "For the players, it is not easy. Last week, it was Heineken Cup.

"This week is French league and next week it's Six Nations.

"So they play three different competitions in three different weeks.

"We need to improve a few areas to give more times for the players to prepare for the Six Nations.

"The French league, the federation, know this and they've started to speak with each other to try to find a French way to try to be as competitive as possible."

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