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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions