17 Oct 2011

French rugby coach slams "spoiled brats" in his squad

6:22 am on 17 October 2011

France rugby coach Marc Lievremont slammed a section of his World Cup team as "spoiled brats" after they defied his orders by going out to celebrate Saturday night's 9-8 semi-final win over Wales.

With an enigmatic smile on his face throughout, Lievremont elaborated on an earlier comment he had made about going to bed in a bad mood, by delivering the withering verdict on some of his squad.

"(Today I am) feeling good," he said. "I went to bed in a bad mood, because I'd asked the players not to go out.

"And I found out that a few of them had gone out. So we spoke about it this morning and I told them what I thought of them.

"I told them they are a bunch of spoiled brats. Undisciplined, disobedient, sometimes selfish. Always complaining, always whingeing," he added, not holding back.

"And it's been like this for four years. It seems to be our way of functioning. I also told them I have a lot of affection for them, but it is a shame they don't look after themselves.

"But at the same time we're in the final. And as I said yesterday we have to believe in this destiny."

Lievremont did not name the culprits but said that he had spoken to them. When asked how the players had responded to his harsh words, he smiled again.

"Oh, they appreciated them," he said.

France will face either Australia or New Zealand - who play later on Sunday - in next Sunday's final.

"We're in the final," Lievremont said. "We have to believe in this destiny.

"This reminds me of 1999," he added.

Twelve years ago Lievremont was a player in the last French squad to reach a World Cup final.

"In '99 we spent four days celebrating our semi-final win. We didn't prepare properly and I don't want us to relive this same thing."

Having beaten New Zealand in the semi-finals, France lost to Australia on that occasion.