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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz