France must atone for Tonga defeat says Vincent Clerc
Thursday 06 October 2011
Vincent Clerc today called for France to show their worth in Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with England at Eden Park in Auckland.
Les Bleus advanced to the knockout stages as Pool A runners-up to New Zealand, despite losing 19-14 to Tonga in Wellington last weekend.
Clerc, who scored the late try which earned a losing bonus point against Tonga, is determined France make amends for their displays thus far against the team which eliminated them from the 2003 and 2007 tournaments.
He said: "We have a great deal of revenge to get.
"First, with regards to last week, considering the work we've put in for three and a half months.
"What we showed last week doesn't reflect what we are worth.
"Secondly, with regards to the England squad, it's not really revenge as such because the teams and the context are different."
There have been numerous reports of internal strife within the French camp, while England have also had numerous off-field troubles.
Clerc insisted Les Blues' squad are united.
He added: "In our squad, too, the morale is good. We went through tough times, but we're still here."
Clerc knows it is imperative France gain the advantage up front in order to prevail this weekend.
He said: "We won't necessarily achieve extraordinary things. We will have to focus on the basics and get them right."
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