Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Lievremont: Strife can be catalyst

France head coach Marc Lievremont hopes the internal strife within his Rugby World Cup squad will be the catalyst for a strong performance in Saturday's quarter-final with England in Auckland.

Lievremont and his Les Bleus squad are frustrated by their own performances in the tournament thus far, after completing their Pool A campaign with a 19-14 loss to Tonga. Nonetheless France qualified for the last eight as runners-up in the group to New Zealand and face perennial rivals England at Eden Park with a semi-final place at stake.

"We did not win the right to be happy," Lievremont said. "I do not think there are internal problems, just a frustration on my part but also the players. And also of shame after the match last Saturday. All this will, hopefully, generate a reaction. "

England, too, have experienced numerous on and off-field issues during the tournament thus far, but Lievremont declined the opportunity to twist the knife.

He said: "I have enough trouble with my group not to poke fun of them.

"We're under a bit of pressure - it's part of the tournament.

"It's not huge problems, just a bit of stress and a certain amount of unhappiness with the way the pool matches have been played.

"We're putting that behind us and looking forward to the next match.

"I've still got a great deal of belief in my team, a huge amount of belief in their qualities of rugby players. That hasn't changed."


From Belfast Telegraph