Player revolt in French camp?

France are reportedly contending with a player revolt against coach Philippe Saint-André on the eve of their World Cup quarter-final against the All Blacks.

Sections of the French press have reported that the players have lost all faith in the leadership of Saint-André, and have been 'discreetly dismissing' his instructions.

Ironically, there were suggestions of similar disharmony in the French camp during the last World Cup, with Les Bleus progressing to the final despite friction between outgoing coach Marc Lièvremont and the players.

Saint-André has already endured a tumultuous four-year tenure, with France having finished fourth in the last two Six Nations tournaments. Before the World Cup kicked off, it was already known that the coach would be replaced by Guy Novès after the tournament.

However, France captain Thierry Dusautoir rubbished the reports of a split in the camp on Friday.

'Since the start of the World Cup, the players and staff have been together and they will work together until the end of the World Cup. We've been preparing for this game against New Zealand with all the boys and coaches and manager.

'It's a team that is ready to play against New Zealand. I don't really understand what people are talking about. It's not really my problem, I'm just focused on what we're doing.'

Nevertheless, it now remains to be seen how these latest rumblings might affect Les Bleus as they head into a quarter-final clash against the highly fancied All Blacks, with the winner set to face either the Boks or Wales in the semi-final.

Full story in New Zealand Herald

Post by

Craig Lewis