Traille calls for French pride
Versatile French back wants response against Italy after England loss
Last Updated: March 19, 2009 4:59pm
Traille: Wants French response
Damien Traille has called for France to restore some pride against Italy on Saturday to ease some of the pain of last week's humiliation at Twickenham.
"Italy took Wales all the way and we know many of their players who play in our championship. We know they will want to get at us and kick us while we are down."
Damien Traille Quotes of the week
France were crushed 34-10 by England last week after a first-half pounding that saw the hosts run in four tries to lead 29-0 at half-time.
The French now travel to Rome for their final Six Nations game and Traille says that they must not only win, but win well, to salvage some pride.
Biarritz centre Traille, who will play at full-back in Rome, says the French must hold their heads high and try to show their true colours against Italy.
"We must lift our heads," said Traille. "It's not easy considering what has just happened but we have to forget about it quickly because this match will come up on us.
"We must not only win but do it in a certain manner. We must see to it that we get back our free spirit in attack and defence, and play as a team."
France have again been inconsistent in the Six Nations this season, with Marc Lievremont's side ending Wales' grand slam hopes before being put to the sword by England.
Lievremont is coming under increasing pressure but has selected the same squad from the England debacle to give him some breathing space with a big win in Rome.
"The staff have given this squad another opportunity," Traille added.
"It is a squad which is hurt, individually and collectively. When you try to move on from something like that, it is always difficult to clear your head. We now have to try to show something else completely.
"It's after this type of defeat that you see what you are made of. Like when we had to lift our heads against Wales.
"But we can no longer be happy to be so up and down with our performances, which is a bad French trait."
Traille was one of the few French players to gain any credit at Twickenham, as he came on at fly-half in the second half to finally spark some life into the team.
He will now start in Italy after being overlooked for the first three games of the Six Nations, and he insists he is not fussed what number shirt he is given.
"My versatility gives the staff a lot of solutions although because I can cover three positions, I was expecting to be on the bench," Traille said.
"I like all three. Each has their own specific characteristics which suit me."
Italy are without a win this year and have never beaten France in the Six Nations, while the French normally pile on the points in Rome.
However, after the Azzurri only just lost out 20-15 to Wales last week, Traille will take nothing for granted.
"Italy took Wales all the way and we know many of their players who play in our championship," added Traille.
"We know they will want to get at us and kick us while we are down."