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France facing £10,000 fine for advancing on haka

Marc Lievremont’s side failed to stay the prescribed distance away in the final yesterday.

France watch on as New Zealand perform the haka.
France watch on as New Zealand perform the haka.

Updated, Tuesday 11.54am

FRANCE MAY BE fined £10,000 by the IRB for advancing on the New Zealand haka prior to yesterday’s Rugby World Cup final.

France are reported to have breached tournament rules by not staying the prescribed distance away from the haka and therefore incurring the fine.

Though Les Bleus are said to have been hit with the fine, world rugby bosses are yet to confirm the decision.

TheScore.ie is currently awaiting an IRB response for confirmation of the fine. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Tuesday that the French have been fined £2,500 rather than £10,000.

The IRB did not confirm or deny the fine earlier today, but their chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement:

“It was not an aggressive response. It was just the positioning on the field. Sure, they passed the line of 50m but we need to discuss about that and what processes there are to go forward with this response.”

Marc Lievremont said his captain Thierry Dusautoir tried to prevent his teammates from crossing the halfway line.

Lievremont told reporters:

“He tried to stop them, there was a bit of movement bringing them forward.”

Meanwhile, Richie McCaw claimed that he was not surprised by the French team’s actions, saying:

“We talked that they’d bring something different and they did, but the game doesn’t start until the whistle blows does it?”

France are not the only team ever to have advanced on the haka, with Ireland having famously done so in 1989.

More to follow

Read: Thierry Dusautoir wins IRB Player of the Year; gets mistaken for Henry>

In pictures: Thousands turn out to celebrate the All Blacks’ World Cup win>

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Paul Fennessy

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