Ollivon's France to 'get down to business' in Six Nations opener in Italy

Rome (AFP) –


Captain Charles Ollivon warned France were impatient 'to get down to business' as last season's runners-up kick off their Six Nations campaign on Saturday at Italy.

Ollivon led his side to second in the tournament in his maiden campaign as skipper in 2020, behind England on points difference.

"We must remain focused and keep in mind the steps to be taken," he said of their quest for a first trophy in 11 years.

"There's a great deal of excitement. This tournament has been on everyone's mind for a while. The whole squad wants to get down to business.

"We've prepared well for this. We're committed to giving everything we have, for our fans as well and for the whole of France, so we can't wait for tomorrow!"

Les Bleus dominated in the decade after the Championship was expanded at the turn of the century to include the Azzurri, winning the title five times in nine years between 2002 and 2010.

"Thinking about the final victory, maybe we have it in our head, but today our focus is on Italy," Ollivon said at Friday's eve of match press conference.

"We have analysed them all week. The goal is to get this tournament off to a good start. What I can tell you is that we really want to attack this tournament," the Toulon back-rower added.

Amid coronavirus restrictions, Ollivon's squad had been training in a bio-secure bubble in Nice before the competition.

"We all agree with the conditions," said the 27-year-old. "We didn't even discuss it between us because it goes without saying.

"We know, suddenly, that we have to respect a lot of rules. Things are done quite naturally.

"Being a tight group, it also helps to strengthen bonds. You have to see things in a positive way, as an opportunity, rather than the opposite."