Keo.co.za brings you news from the Six Nations.
‘France can’t win World Cup’ – Coach Marc Lievremont has described some of his players as cowards while some senior squad members have admitted France will struggle at the global tournament this September.
Lievremont has launched a scathing attack on his players after last Saturday’s loss to Italy. France have relinquished their Six Nations title, and it’s not only the French public that are doubting the team’s ability to win the World Cup.
‘Maybe they were too much in the comfort zone,’ said Lievremont. ‘Do I feel responsible for that? No, they betrayed us, they have betrayed me and they have betrayed the French national team shirt.
‘In terms of the tactics deployed, it defied belief. I did not recognise anything in their performance that we had worked on. Do you really think that I told them to play as they did against Italy? I was ashamed. I do not have the impression we asked them to walk on the moon. I do not ask for complicated things.
‘They are lacking in courage. They are good guys but cursed with what is obviously cowardice.’
At this stage, Lievremont seems to be safe from the axe, but the coach said some players won’t be so lucky.
‘I have already looked several players in the eyes and told them they would be at the World Cup. All that is now up in the air. The Italy match means we are back at the starting gate. What is for sure is that certain players have worn the French shirt for the last time.’
Fullback Maxime Medard maintains the players are ashamed by the defeat. ‘If I had a rope, I’d hang myself, ‘he told reporters. ‘Well, I’m kidding, but I’d like to go and hide somewhere.’
Flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc didn’t offer much hope for a turnaround. ‘We do not have a team capable of winning the World Cup,’ he said. ‘We don’t seem to be capable of playing together. Everything is unclear. Some players look like they are lost on the pitch.’
Meanwhile, Lievremont has made six changes to his squad for the match against Wales. Sylvain Marconnet, Jerome Thion, Sebastien Chabal, Yannick Jauzion, Clement Poitrenaud and Aurelien Rougerie have all been dropped.
Jerome Schuster, Pascal Pape, Alexandre Lapandry, Fabrice Estebanez, David Marty and Alexis Palisson have all been brought into the set-up.