France shone in defence in Sunday’s victory against England but fly-half Romain Ntamack has called for them to step it up in attack against Italy this weekend.
Les Bleus earned a 24-17 win over the World Cup finalists to open their Guinness Six Nations campaign in style, with their defence – now coached by Shaun Edwards – widely credited for shutting down England’s dangermen for the best part of an hour.
France did also score three tries, but Ntamack believes they are capable of being more threatening in attack, and explained that the team have been working hard to get that right ahead of the visit of the Azzurri.
The fly-half said: “We will have to produce a similar defensive performance to the one against England, and in attack, we need to have more options. We had a strategy against England that we applied perfectly, but we also need to win matches with our attack and not just our defence.
“We had quite an intense day (on Wednesday). We went through our plays, our attacking drills. We did some contact work to see where we are.
“The squad also wants to play in attack, to enjoy themselves when we have the ball. In attack we need to look at our drills. One of the objectives of the weekend will be to succeed in our attacks, our planned moves. We need to keep the same level in defence, and improve in attack.”
Fabien Galthié will name his team to face Italy on Friday, with centre Virimi Vakatawa set to miss out because of a triceps injury.
Arthur Vincent, the Montpellier centre who led France Under-20s to the world title last year, would likely make his first start in that case, having made his debut off the bench last weekend.