Bernard Laporte blast for ‘pathetic’ Toulon
Jonny Wilkinson, that most private of players, is renowned for internalising the negatives when his rugby life goes sour on him. Bernard Laporte, his boss at Toulon, takes a different approach. The former France national coach’s reaction to the European champions’ defeat at Cardiff Blues two days ago was a classic of public vituperation.
Laporte, briefly a member of the French government as secretary of state for sport, accused his side – a line-up full to overflowing with top internationals, including Wilkinson and two fellow Englishmen in the Armitage brothers, Delon and Steffon – of being “lifeless”. He then branded them “pathetic” and questioned their fitness levels. “It is clear that physically, we have a big problem,” he was quoted as saying in France. “I am not going to say it is the fault of our fitness team, because they are the same as last year.
“The players must realise that they weren’t good enough and react, now,” he continued, casting his mind towards this weekend’s Top 14 meeting with Toulouse. “We were champions, but I don’t care about ‘were’. I want ‘to be’. I want this team in the present and winning the games put in front of them.” And to sign off, he took aim at the quality of the contest at the Arms Park. “It was a shit match,” he remarked, by way of analysis.
Meanwhile, another leading British player earning his money across the water, the Wales and Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips, is among a group of Bayonne players accused of turning up for a video analysis session while under the influence of alcohol. The alleged incident happened a little over a week ago, after the Basque club’s Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Grenoble.
Phillips, hardly a stranger to the disciplinary process at Bayonne having been suspended last year for off-field misconduct, was scheduled to make an appearance before the club’s directors today.
Karim Benzema to Arsenal: Real Madrid striker fuels speculation he will join Gunners with cryptic Instagram post
Chelsea vs Barcelona: what channel is it on and how can I watch it?
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Arsene Wenger hits back over Jose Mourinho's claims 'buying success' ahead of Community Shield
Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool – highest and lowest transfer spenders revealed
Outraged Vietnamese fan burns Manchester City tickets after being snubbed by Raheem Sterling, Samir Nasri and others
- 1 Cecil the lion: Dentist Walter Palmer blames local guides in Zimbabwe for the scandal
- 2 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 3 Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband