Six Nations 2011: France's Sstien Chabal seeks redemption at Twickenham for low point in his career
Sébastien Chabal is determined to make amends for one of the lowest points in his career as he looks to avoid the pitfalls that led to the humiliating 34-10 defeat to England at Twickenham two years ago.
Atonement: Sstian Chabal has a heavy defeat against England at Twickenham on his CV Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Mick Cleary 8:35PM GMT 23 Feb 2011
"We were overwhelmed everywhere, in all sectors of the game," said Chabal, restored to his favoured position of No 8, with Biarritz's Imanol Harinordoquy moving to the flank.
"We felt that we were ready, that we were going to do something, and we just couldn't understand how the English were ready for us."
Chabal's international career was rekindled during his five seasons at Sale. The bearded icon of the French scene, who has recently enjoyed the equivalent of a Madame Tussard's model of him being erected at the Grevin Museum in Paris, has never had truck with those of his French team-mates who accuse the English of arrogance.
He returned to France two seasons ago and has helped lead Racing-Métro into the top tiers of the domestic championship.
"England have succeeded in putting together a squad with an old guard who are guarantors of their rugby values and a new generation full of talent who inject a bit of fizz into the game, which before was often a bit direct and stereotypical," said Chabal, who will win his 61st cap on Saturday.
Chabal is not the only veteran in French ranks looking for a spot of redemption. Toulouse centre Yannick Jauzion, recalled to the starting line-up for the first time in this championship, is determined to end his losing streak at Twickenham on what might be his last visit there.
"I now have to justify my selection, to prove something without making it a one-man show," said the 32 year-old, who has never won at Twickenham since making his international debut a decade ago.
"There is a huge rivalry between us, especially this year because the English are at their best. They are a little arrogant before and during matches, and that is why we respect them. Because not only are they provocative but also because sometimes they come out on top.
''We will be playing in a hostile atmosphere but we need that because we have to grow up."
Jauzion, who wins his 73rd cap on Saturday, has been overlooked for a starting slot since the autumn.
"The Six Nations got off to a bad start for me, personally, and it is up to me now to make the most of this opportunity," said Jauzion, who will partner Aurélien Rougerie.
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