Former France utility back Thomas Castaignède has hit out at coach Jacques Brunel for picking South African lock Paul Willemse.
Willemse made his Test debut for his adopted country against Wales in Paris last week, having qualified under the three-year residency rule.
The 26-year-old had a solid, if unspectacular, performance before he was substituted after 58 minutes.
Les Bleus blew a 16-0 half-time lead to lose the match 24-19, with their 15th defeat in 18 matches seeing them drop to a new low of 10th in the World Rugby rankings.
‘I prefer to lose with French players than foreigners,’ Castaignede told the Daily Mail. ‘If you pick someone you want them to score tries or add value to the team. That is not the case here. Is Willemse much better than Felix Lambey or Yoann Maestri?
‘I don’t think so. So why do we pick him? I have got nothing against the guy, but he is taking the position of players who were born in France, who grew up playing French rugby. What is the point unless you add massive value to the team? I was not picked for the 2003 World Cup because they picked Brian Liebenberg instead of me — a South African.
‘It is sport. They think he is better than you so you have to accept that, but in terms of the morality, you take it badly.
‘We want to have morality by not picking a foreign coach because we think that having a French guy is important, but then we pick players from abroad who don’t even speak French.’
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