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Thierry Dusautoir refuses to discuss France future

Published 17/10/2015

Thierry Dusautoir, pictured, has refused to address whether he will retire from Test rugby after France's 62-13 defeat to New Zealand at the World Cup
Thierry Dusautoir, pictured, has refused to address whether he will retire from Test rugby after France's 62-13 defeat to New Zealand at the World Cup

Thierry Dusautoir has refused to address suggestions he will retire from Test rugby after France's 62-13 hammering by New Zealand.

France's talisman captain could well call it quits after 80 caps following Les Bleus' embarrassing nine-try quarter-final defeat to the All Blacks in Cardiff.

Eight years ago Dusautoir tackled himself and New Zealand to a standstill as France edged out the All Blacks 20-18 in the 2007 World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff.

This time around at the Millennium Stadium defending champions New Zealand suffered no hiccup, ratcheting through the gears to tee up a semi-final with South Africa.

"I haven't even thought about all that to be honest," said Dusautoir, when asked if had played his last game for France.

"We just lost the quarter-final and shipped 60 points.

"I'm not thinking about that, but about my team-mates and how to recover because the World Cup is finished for us.

"And now we have to go back to our clubs and the Top 14.

"So we've got to go back to reality, real life, and then I will have time to think about all of this.

"But now is not the time to think about all of that.

"Now I want to rest, and think of something else.

"After such a defeat and the powerlessness and impotence we felt for most of the game, there's not much more to say.

"To come out, to leave the competition in this way, it's complicated but it's worse than that."

Julian Savea's punishing hat-trick left beleaguered and outgoing France boss Philippe Saint-Andre hailing the All Blacks as "the Brazilians of rugby".

Saint-Andre shouldered the blame for France's pitiful and feeble exit from the World Cup, ahead of departing his post with former Toulouse coach Guy Noves poised to take the helm.

"They are the Brazilians of rugby, they go fast and they won 80 per cent of the game," said Saint-Andre.

"As a coach yes of course there is shame tonight, it is more than difficult, that being said I want to thank my staff, the players that since July 5 have been working extremely hard.

"I've taken a lot of pleasure since July 5 to be with them.

"And maybe in fact three months every four years is not enough and we had too much to catch up.

"Today it was the last match for some players, players who have given a lot to French rugby and a new generation that have learned a lot at this World Cup.

"They will bring French victories to us in the future."

Saint-Andre was booed by the angry French fans during his post-match television interview, but refused to decry the treatment.

"Well to be honest you would rather be clapped than booed so of course but I'm mostly disappointed for the players today," said Saint-Andre.

"Because we cannot say that they didn't give it all.

"But the scenario of the match was such that even at the end of the first half we were almost there and then they scored another try.

"After the half-time there was that yellow card and every time with this team, New Zealand, every time we lost a ball we got punished.

"I have no problems with my role, I accept my responsibilities.

"I've taken a lot of blows over the past four years, but I'm ready to take more, I've of course taken the position.

"In three months we were hoping to reach a new dimension.

"I can guarantee the players put everything into it.

"But we cannot lie to ourselves."

Saint-Andre has championed size and power above all else in his four years as France boss, and paid a hefty price - but refused to admit he had erred in that ambition.

"I think the opposite," said Saint-Andre when asked if he regretted his focus.

"You have to use your assets.

"They were extremely reactive, much faster than us, and then you realise that, well, we have good players but New Zealand have a reactivity, a speed an technique in defence of high quality."

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