France hurt by criticism says Morgan Parra

Morgan Parra has admitted the French players have been hurt by stinging criticism surrounding their appearance in Sunday's World Cup final against New Zealand.

France have reached the showpiece occasion at Eden Park despite losing to New Zealand and Tonga in the pool phase, and then scraping past 14-man Wales last weekend.



But despite some feeble form at times - and regular reports of rifts in the camp between players and coach Marc Lievremont - Les Bleus are one away from securing a first world title.



"We are trying to keep ourselves in a cocoon," fly-half Parra said.



"The players are getting some negative feedback, and if some people are saying we do not deserve to be where we are then that hurts.



"We play on the pitch and we try to give the best possible image of French rugby.



"When we read the criticism in the press, we don't want to read it, but criticism from our supporters saying we do not deserve to be here or certain English or Welsh players saying the same thing, that hurts. But it brings us together."



Lievremont labelled some of his players "spoiled brats" earlier this week when they went out to celebrate victory over Wales after he asked them not to.



And Parra added: "Maybe he was just annoyed.



"For certain players, the World Cup has been quite difficult, and maybe they needed to go out.



"The whole group did not go out and I am not sure why he called us all 'spoiled brats'. But we have spoken about it, and that is the end of it."



Parra, who has played most of his international rugby at scrum-half, guided France to victory over Wales with his accurate goalkicking, and he is crucial for Les Bleus as they target a huge World Cup upset this weekend.



"I never thought I would be playing in the final at number 10," he said.



"It is a dream of mine, and I am trying to make the most of it and I am going to try to enjoy it the best I can, be that on the pitch or off the pitch. But for the dream to come true we have to win.



"I think when I go back to my club (Clermont Auvergne) I will go back to being number nine. But as long as I am playing and enjoying it, I don't care where I play."



France number eight Imanol Harinordorquy, meanwhile, is relishing the prospect of featuring in a World Cup final.



"To play in a World Cup Final has never happened to me before and it will never happen again," said the Biarritz back-row forward.



"But we will have to remain composed, keep a cool head and not try to focus on what is at stake.



"I think at times we can be our own worst enemy, and that is why I am saying I think we need to concentrate on ourselves."



PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor