Lievremont frustrated by lack of contact

Having spent little time with his squad ahead of the Six Nations, new France rugby coach Marc Lievremont believes so far he has been more of a coach in essence.


“We will have less than one week to prepare for our first match against Scotland. So we cannot promise a huge change, though I especially hope there will be in the state of mind (of the players), but it’s difficult.


“At the moment I am a virtual coach, without players, a team and a field,” the 39-year-old Lievremont told French sports daily L’Equipe Lievremont, who replaced Bernard Laporte after France’s World Cup flop, is concerned with the lack of youngsters coming through the ranks in the top division clubs and has spread his selection net further afield.


“I hope that we work in harmony with the (French) clubs. But there are also things that are out of our control. I am thinking about the evolution of our opponents.


“In the European Cup, the English clubs revealed some young players and I believe that with Toulouse and Clermont in France, you can’t see the woods for the trees.”

 

“It is possible there will be one, two or three changes (to the squad), we are following over 150 players. Not all of whom play in the Top 14 (first division).

“Some play in the Pro D2 (second division) and others who are working themselves up through the youth squads.” Lievremont insists, though, that his principle objectives remain with forming a solid platform from which to work from in the future.


“Soon we are going to start seriously thinking about our first game against Scotland but we are also thinking ahead to the next World Cup and even beyond that.


“I am not obsessed by the 2011 World Cup nor with immediate results.


We just need a solid base, to rake in the confidence.” France open their Six Nations title defence when they travel to Murrayfield on February 3 to take on Frank Hadden’s Scotland side.


Sapa-AFP – SixNationsweb.co.uk

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