Lievremont concerned about All Blacks

France coach Marc Lievremont on Sunday warned that his side’s recent progress could “go up in smoke” with defeat in their year-ending match against New Zealand in Marseille next weekend.

France will go into the match on the back of a 43-5 thrashing of Samoa and a superb 20-13 victory over world champions South Africa, but Lievremont remains cautious.

“We’re coming out of two great matches, but the balance is fragile,” he said.


“We know that everything that we’ve achieved over the first two games can go up in smoke on Saturday against an excellent New Zealand side.”


ievremont has made four changes to his squad for the All Blacks, with Toulouse hooker William Servat, former captain and lock Lionel Nallet of Racing Metro, Montpellier’s back-rower Fulgence Ouedraogo and Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz coming into the 23-man group.

Mermoz’s Perpignan team-mate Guilhem Guirado, Stade Francais’s Pascal Pape, Clermont’s Alexandre Lapandry and Yann David of Toulouse are the men to make way.

Injuries to back-row forwards Imanol Harinordoquy and Louis Picamoles mean they both miss the cut, as does Toulouse wing Cedric Heymans.

France enjoyed a historic 27-22 win over the All Blacks in Dunedin during their summer tour in June, before going down 14-10 in Wellington.

“Aside from the fact that conditions will favour us because we’re playing in front of our own fans, from what I’ve seen of the All Blacks they’ve rediscovered a lot of stability,” said Lievremont.

“They’re definitely much better than the New Zealand team we beat in June.”

The crushing victory over Samoa on Saturday saw fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc assume a starring role, setting up Yannick Jauzion for a first-half try with a cunning kick and touching down himself twice in the second period.

The Montpellier man had been criticised for a lack of success with his kicking in the victory over South Africa and he was delighted by his performance against the islanders.

“I’m pretty pleased with my game: the rotation worked well, we had good links between the forwards and the three-quarters, a good kicking game, a good defence,” he said.

“I’m not trying to get revenge on anyone. I play rugby for enjoyment, for my own qualities.”


Trinh-Duc also shone in the victory in Dunedin, but against an All Blacks side missing their own kicking talisman Dan Carter.

“He (Trinh-Duc) will have to prove that he’s at the level of the best players and particularly on Saturday against the authority on the subject, Dan Carter,” said Lievremont.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.