France rugby coach slams Aussie threat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

France rugby coach slams Aussie threat

21/11/2008 12:07:12 AM Comments (0)

France coach Marc Lievremont has lashed out at Australian rugby officials for threatening to stop tours to Europe.

The dispute followed Australian anger that European teams, especially France, were sending under-strength squads to the southern hemisphere during the northern summer months leading to lop-sided romps for the home teams.

That led to a hard-hitting broadside from Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill, who broached the possibility of possible retaliatory action such as not sending tour teams to Europe.

But Lievremont, ahead of Saturday's Test match between France and Australia here on Saturday, said that the southern criticism was unjustified.

"We certainly did not appreciate the condescending attitude shown by their media, public opinion and their officials who threatened to boycott all tours of France," he said.

"We all know that this country (Australia), a great rugby-playing nation, is under threat domestically from rugby league, Australian Rules and even football.

"We all know that economically they need Europe, so those trying to give us lessons would be better served lending us their respect because they know that we had a young team and despite all that they tried as hard as they could and put on a show."

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