France expecting victory on southern hemisphere tour

French rugby bosses expect national coach Marc Lievremont and his side to return from their three-test tour of the southern hemisphere in June with at least one victory.

France leave for New Zealand on 2 June and will play three tests, two against the All Blacks - at Dunedin on 13 June and Wellington a week later - and one against Australia in Sydney on 27 June.



Lievremont said in a newspaper report he is still battling the French Top 14 championship system as he bids to create a world-beating side ahead of the World Cup in 2011.



As an example, Lievremont hasn't had the France squad at his side since the day after France beat Italy in their final Six Nations match, which left them a disappointing third in the tournament, on 23 March.



Also, a first group of French players will leave for New Zealand after the Top 14 semifinals on 2 June while a second will leave on 7 June, a day after the Top 14 final.



That has not stopped French rugby federation president Pierre Camou from demanding results.



Camou said today he had plenty of respect for their southern hemisphere opponents but added that the time for using overseas tests as experiments "was over".



"Despite the respect I have for our opponents, I'm expecting excellence and victory (from France). The period for experimenting is over. The constraints of playing away from home no longer constitute an excuse," said Camou.



Lievremont is set to name his 30-man squad tomorrow, but a day before he voiced his beliefs, and fears, in an interview with L'Equipe sports daily.



Lievremont said that because of Top 14 pressure he has dropped carrying out fitness tests on club-playing internationals as well as reducing the number of times they are called to the national team's base at Marcoussis, near Paris.



But he admitted he would like to break free of restrictions, such as those caused by the fact many of his internationals are concentrated at union giants Toulouse, whom he says don't make his job easier.



"I hope things are going to get better," he told L'Equipe sports daily.



"The difficulty partly is because the way the players are spread out in the (Top 14) championship, and that a lot of internationals play at the one club (Toulouse), with whom relations are not always easy."



Nevertheless Lievremont feels that since the Six Nations he has seen the "backbone" of a promising side emerge.



And despite having to have two welcome parties for his squad in New Zealand, Lievremont is secretly dreaming Les Bleus can begin building for the 2011 World Cup with a confidence-building victory against the All Blacks or the Wallabies.



He said compared to this time last year the France squad is like "day and night".



"Since last autumn we've had a lot of continuity. We've really found the backbone (of the squad)," he added.



"It (a victory) would be magnificent. In any case, somewhere along the line we will need a victory like that ... we still need quite a few things.



"But we still need things to click into gear, (to claim) a victory. Not at any price, but a victory nonetheless.



"For the players, for the staff, for our confidence, to allow us to build (the squad)."

This story was sourced from The New Zealand Herald.

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape