Sébastien Vahaamahina did not even know he was captain when France lost 24-19 to Wales in Paris last Saturday.
The 27-year-old lock, who was responsible for the wild pass that resulted in George North’s match-winning interception try, says he was ‘bemused’ when France won a won penalty and referee Wayne Barnes asked him which option he preferred.
‘I told him to address the captain,’ Vahaamahina said. ‘And he replied, “you are the captain”. I did not even know I was a captain. The staff did not warn me.’
France led 16-0 at half-time, but were outscored 24-3 in a bizarre second half.
Coach Jacques Brunel later admitted that his side lacked control in the big moments.
‘It’s difficult to explain, it’s not a lack of fighting spirit, it’s a lack of control in important moments. It’s a disappointment because we were very committed, we did interesting things, especially in the first half.
‘It’s not the mental frame of mind. We were fully committed until the end. It was a problem of control.’
Photo: David Davies/PA Wire