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Image: Christophe Ena/AP/Press Association Images

Lièvremont labels players 'spoilt brats' after night out

The French coach launched an astonishing tirade at his own players – a week before they face New Zealand in the RWC final.
Oct 16th 2011, 12:34 PM 1,152 1

THE INTERNAL STRIFE that has dogged France’s Rugby World Cup campaign shows no sign of easing.

Coach Marc Lièvremont, a divisive character that has criticised his players on more than one occasion, has labelled some of his squad “spoilt brats” for going on a night out and celebrating the team’s semi-final win over Wales.

“I went to bed in a bad mood because I’d asked the players not to go out and I found out a few of them had gone out,” Lièvremont revealed at a press conference on Sunday. “We spoke about it and I told them what I thought of them.”

In a move not likely to help team morale, he recalled:

“I told them that they’re a bunch of spoilt brats. Undisciplined, disobedient, sometimes selfish. Always complaining, always whinging.
“And it’s been like this for four years. It seems to be our way of functioning. I also told them I have a lot of affection for them, but it is a shame they don’t look after themselves.”

France have generally been awful throughout the tournament, their first-half performance against England in the quarter-finals apart. They were well beaten by the side they will now face in next Sunday’s final (New Zealand) during the pool stages and then lost to Tonga before overcoming England and holding on for victory against Wales on Saturday.

“We’re in the final. We have to believe in this destiny,” Lièvremont added. “The problem is, we are not world champions yet, we’re only in the final.

“This reminds me of 1999 (when France beat New Zealand only to lose the final to Australia) – we spent four days celebrating our semi-final win and we didn’t prepare properly.

“I don’t want us to relive this same thing.”

READ – As it happened: Wales v France

READ – You said what? 9 gems from the mouth of Marc Lièvremont

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Niamh O'Mahony


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