Rattled Mas walks out on the press
March 11, 2014
Nicolas Mas - over and out © PA Photos
Reports have been circulating in recent weeks that all is not well within the French camp, and prop Nicolas Mas flouncing out of a press conference on Tuesday did nothing to dispel the image of a side in turmoil.
Mas was facing the media and was asked, not unreasonably, about the poor performance against Scotland last weekend. While he might not have appreciated the tone, it is the kind of situation the media-trained modern professionals are paid to bat back.
It might have been expected that, as a prop, he would have been told he was likely to be asked about the underperforming pack. If he was, then he seemed to have decided that contrary to opinion, all was fine as far as the forwards were concerned.
It was obvious from the initial exchanges that his views were not shared by many of those asking the questions. As the discussion continued about the rucking, Mas shrugged that the rules had changed and the players "were working to find solutions". He seemed genuinely surprised that this aspect of the game was under the spotlight.
"I have been doing the same things for ten or fifteen years," he said. "You want me to change overnight?"
When asked why the French pack was not as dominant as in the past, he snapped. "I don't know," he replied. "You tell me." When someone dared to point out the Irish and English had adapted and were not conceding as many penalties, he countered: "Yes, but we don't judge the scrums on penalties. What strange logic."
One more question, accompanied by a few sniggers, tipped him over the edge. "This is not funny," he said as he got up and walked out. And that was that.
All is well? Non.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Andy Murray has opened up as to why he chose the "extremely strong" Amelie Mauresmo as his next coach, and says the former world No.1 has had a "calming" influence over him
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says he tried to provoke F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone into making changes by watching testing from the grandstands in Barcelona
Kevin Magnussen says he would not feel fully prepared to race for McLaren in Australia if Fernando Alonso is declared unfit for the season opener
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims his job is under just as much pressure as any other Premier League manager, while warning his players they'll have to show effort in defending or risk being left out
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho turned down an approach from Tottenham after leaving Stamford Bridge in September 2007
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Olivier Giroud gets emotional, Dimitar Berbatov is a bit smug, Arsene Wenger is hurting and Rory McIlroy is "p***** off"
ESPN sat down with Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz in Barcelona to talk his rookie year, escaping his famous father's shadow and the step up to the big league in 2015
Kempton Park and which other course have a race named after Desert Orchid?
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge's fitness must be managed properly so that the striker "doesn't break"
Ander Herrera wishes he could play every game for Manchester United but manager Louis van Gaal's "philosophy" will ultimately restrict his match time
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has dismissed speculation he has fallen out with manager Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal admits Manchester United have fallen behind Chelsea and Manchester City this season because they have lacked a prolific goalscorer
Referee Roger East has told the body responsible for officiating standards in English football it was not a case of mistaken identity when he sent off Sunderland's Wes Brown at Manchester United
The PGA Tour swings into Los Angeles for the Northern Trust Open and the season steps up a gear with some notable names coming out of winter hibernation
An honest England side have been searching for the heir to Jason Robinson for nearly a decade. Step forward Jonathan Joseph, writes Simon Barnes
We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller
Chris Eubank Jr tells Inside Boxing of his hopes of a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders - and a dream showdown with the formidable Gennady Golovkin
Piers Morgan has declared himself "hurt" over former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson's claims that he is not an authentic fan of the club