Lievremont named as new French coach

Former international flanker Marc Lievremont has been appointed France coach, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) said on Wednesday. Lievremont succeeds Bernard Laporte, who joined the French government on Monday as a junior minister for sport.


Laporte who was in charge for eight years, had planned to step down after the World Cup which ended last weekend. France finished fourth in the tournament after being knocked out by England in the semi-finals.

 

France lost twice to Argentina in the world cup and could have finished third had they beaten Argentina.

Lievremont who is relatively young for an international coach at 38 won 23 caps between 1995 and 1999. As a coach, he has guided Dax back to the French first division.


Lievremont will be assisted by another former France star Emile Ntamack, who will coach the backs, while Didier Retiere will look after the forwards.


Lievremont will work alongside Jo Maso, who stays on in his role of team manager.


The 37-year-old Ntamack made 46 appearances for France from 1994 to 2000. He and Retiere were joint coaches of the France Under-21 side that won the world title last year.


“A page has just been turned with the World Cup and we want to write a new one with these three men,” FFR president Bernard Lapasset said.

 

The appointment has not been welcomed by all quarters however and has been questioned by the former French full-back and now president of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby Serge Blanco.

 

Blanco said that he wanted a full review of the situation before a new coach was appointed.

 

“I don’t know why the LNR was not consulted about this,” said Blanco who is the favourite to replace Lapasset who leaves for IRB duty at the end of the year.


Lapasset rejected Blanco’s criticism.

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