Lievremont backs France to beat Pumas - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lievremont backs France to beat Pumas

By Baptiste Pace 26/06/2010 10:22:10 AM Comments (0)

French rugby coach Marc Lievremont believes his team will "do the business" when they take on Argentina on Saturday but admits that the Six Nations champions are lacking a bit of sparkle.

It is the last game of a long season for France's top players many of whom were involved in European and domestic matches right up until the end of May.

The end of season fatigue may have been a factor in their 42-17 defeat by South Africa in Cape Town two weeks ago.

"The players are certainly applying themselves to the task but you can also sense that it is the end of the season and they are lacking a bit of fizz," said Lievremont.

"We have to increase the power, rediscover a bit of passion but you just feel it has been a long season.

"We have a feeling of repetition, every day training. But we are going to do the business."

Lievremont has made seven changes to the side that lost in Cape Town with Perpignan's Jerome Porical the one new cap coming in for Clement Poitrenaud at full-back.

"Spirits are good, the guys are taking it seriously," he said.

"Among the backs, notably with the kids like Florian Fritz, they are working very hard. Some like Franois (Trinh-Duc) see it as a chance to finish the season on a high and then you have Jerome Porical who is just extremely happy to be there.

"Up front the guys are doing the business. I hope we can find the energy and aggression."

In Cape Town, France came up against a South African side that was warming up for the defence of its Tri-Nations title and living up to its billing as world champions.

The Argentines, who go into this Test on the back of two disappointing home defeats at the hands of Scotland, should not pose the same threat.

"You can sense they are also at the end of their tether with perhaps a bit more reason that us, a sort of conflict of generations. And those defeats against Scotland," said Lievremont.

"I think the opening plays of the game will be vital. If we do what we have to do, if we are determined and apply ourselves, we can take this match fairly comfortably.

"But if we have trouble getting going, like we did in South Africa, then that is going to be tough."

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