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There's no French mutiny, says skipper Thierry Dusautoir

Published 17/10/2015

Still a team: France’s head coach Philippe Saint-Andre (right) speaks with France’s captain Thierry Dusautoir in training
Still a team: France’s head coach Philippe Saint-Andre (right) speaks with France’s captain Thierry Dusautoir in training

France captain Thierry Dusautoir has dismissed claims of a rebellion against coach Philippe Saint-Andre on the eve of their World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand.

It was reported on Thursday that a "discreet" rebellion had taken place against Saint-Andre and that there was "bedlam" in the squad ahead of tonight's showdown with the All Blacks in Cardiff.

It was even suggested that some players were responsible for team selection and Dusautoir had taken over the coaching reins this week.

But the 33-year-old back-rower rejected stories of French unrest at a pre-match press conference in Newport.

"I don't understand what everyone is talking about," Dusautoir said. "We prepare for this game as a team and all the boys, coaches and manager are working together."

There was unrest in the France camp during the 2011 World Cup when players expressed their unhappiness with then coach Marc Lievremont following a shock group stage defeat to Tonga.

But France recovered to make the final and Dusautoir said Les Bleus were ready to face champions and World Cup favourites New Zealand four years on.

"We are going to continue to work together," Dusautoir said. "It's a team ready to play New Zealand."

Dusautoir was part of the France side which stunned New Zealand in a 20-18 victory in a 2007 World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff.

Four years later, he scored a try as France lost 8-7 to New Zealand in the Auckland final - but he says he is not bothered about the past.

"It was special in 2007 because we won against the All Blacks and not many teams have. I think French people really liked that moment," Dusautoir said.

"We had a great moment eight years ago, another one four years ago in reaching the final.

"Maybe, I'm going to a have third special memory. But building a future is more important than what happened in the past."

Belfast Telegraph

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