Saint-Andre thrilled with France display


France coach Philippe Saint-Andre lauded his team for reaching the levels he had expected during their 25-20 win over England on Saturday.

Saint-Andre's team led 25-6 with 10 minutes remaining at the Stade de France and they held on for victory despite two late England tries.

The coach said his side would take plenty of confidence from the win, with the Rugby World Cup starting on September 18.

"We reached the level we were looking for after seven weeks together," Saint-Andre said.

"We played two games against England because we need to be able to compete against the best if you want to perform well during the World Cup.

"The game was really intense and was played with a lot of fight. That's great for our confidence.

"We could have won more convincingly but had to survive a tough last 10 minutes."

A Yoann Huget try, plus the boots of Frederic Michalak (a conversion and five penalties) and Scott Spedding (one penalty), helped France into their healthy lead.

Saint-Andre said there was plenty to like about France's performance.

"For 70 minutes, we remained serious during the game in terms of build-up, attacking phases and working defensively. We scored a great try. We had a couple more chances too," he said.

"We know however that the English defence is one of the fastest in the world. It was important to us to put some pressure on them and to be able to make passes at such a high level of intensity."