Lievremont critical of 'spoiled brats' in his France squad

French coach is not happy that his players disobeyed orders not to celebrate their semi-final win, while he says Wales captain Sam Warburton sending off was 'justified'.

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AUCKLAND // Marc Lievremont, the France rugby coach, slammed a section of his Rugby World Cup team as "spoiled brats" after they defied his orders by going out and celebrating yesterday's 9-8 win over Wales to book their place in next week's final.

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 players.

"[Today I am] feeling good. 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," he said.

"I told them they are a bunch of spoiled brats. Undisciplined, disobedient, sometimes selfish. Always complaining. And it's been like this for four years.

"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.

As the questions continued, Lievremont attempted to diffuse the controversy.

"It's really not very important," he said. "It is not a few cigarettes or a dessert or a few drinks which will affect the preparation for the final."

Meanwhile, Lievermont and the French defensive coach, Dave Ellis, weighed into the debate surrounding the controversial sending off of Sam Warburton, the Wales captain, during yesterday's semi-final.

Warburton was sent off by Irish referee Alain Rolland after tackling French winger Vincent Clerc and dropping from a height after 17 minutes at Eden Park, which gave the French a significant advantage.

I think it was a fantastic rugby league tackle," Ellis said.

The English former rugby league player continued: "Unfortunately we are not playing rugby league, we are playing rugby union.
"As soon as I saw it I thought it was a sending off."

Lievremont said he had watched the match again this morning.

"I had a great time watching it again," he said.

"[People] can talk about injustice, but I have seen the footage again and the red card is justified.

"The referee was consistent. I can't help it if their kicker was not as good as ours. I don't know if the best team won, but France are in the final."