Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"We made the All Blacks tremble" said Lievremont

French coach Marc Lievremont has finished his tenure as coach, after almost leading his side to a massive upset with an 8-7 loss against the All Blacks.

Philippe Saint-Andre will replace the former flanker as Les Bleus boss, and his first matches in charge will be during the 2012 Six Nations.

Lievremont had a colourful final chapter as French coach, copping massive criticism as France sunk to two pool losses against the All Blacks and Tonga, while consistent claims of infighting and lack of respect between coach and players were rife throughout the tournament.

It was a lighthearted Lievremont who wrapped up his New Zealand journey.

"My contract ends today and I didn't want you guys to miss me very much," he said.

"In the weeks and months ahead, it will be up to someone else to tell you about the French team."

While many predicted France would implode, with Lievremont’s relationship with his players reaching a head when he labeled them “spoiled brats” after they celebrated their semi-final win against instructions – they managed to go toe-to-toe with the world’s best team.

"We made it to the final. We made the All Blacks tremble and that is where we are now," Lievremont said.

"I thought the performance of the French players was beautiful. They put in a great performance. They played great rugby.

"We were looking for three consecutive wins and it wasn't there. It is hard when you are up against a whole nation."

As for his comments regarding his players, he felt that it was because they were like family.

"That is a term (spoiled brats) I use with my brothers and sisters," he said.

"I take responsibility for that and the timing wasn't probably right. I know some of them were not happy with me.

"I have great admiration for my players and I hope in the coming weeks they will feel the same way about me."

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