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France coach jeered after World Cup drubbing

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France coach jeered after World Cup drubbing
French rugby coach Philippe Saint-Andre took responsibility for the humiliation. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP
13:05 CEST+02:00
French fans jeered coach Philippe Saint-Andre after his last match in charge on Saturday ended in a record breaking World Cup hammering by New Zealand.

The former French captain said he took a large part of the blame for the 62-13 rout. Current captain Thierry Dusautoir said he had not yet decided his future but he also faces doubts.

Boos and jeers rang around the Millennium Stadium at the end of the match when Saint-Andre's face appeared on the giant screens.

"To be honest I prefer to be applauded than whistled," Saint-Andre, who has faced critics virtually since he took the job, told reporters.

But when asked how much of the fault was his, he added: "I must take a lot of it. There is no problem there. I have had a lot of blows over the last four years."

The coach added: "I am most disappointed for the players today. You cannot say they have not given everything."

The French team fly back on Sunday to a negative media welcome. L'Equipe, the sports daily, ran a headline "Total fiasco" for Les Bleus.

- Samba rugby -

Saint-Andre said the three months given to prepare the squad was not enough. He paid full tribute to the All Blacks calling them "the Brazilians of rugby. They are fast and they win 80 percent of the duels."

"We have good rugby players, but New Zealand have players who are reactive, they show speed and technique of the highest quality."

Saint-Andre leaves the with worst record of any French coach of the past quarter century.

He has won just 20 matches against 23 defeats and two draws.

Guy Noves will move from Top 14 side Toulouse to take over the national team after the World Cup.

France captain Thierry Dusautoir, a hero of past matches against New Zealand, but now a veteran at 33, said there were "two or three classes” between New Zealand and France.

Dusautoir's position at least as captain must now be under threat and he said he just wanted to "go for a rest."

"After such a defeat with such a powerless feeling, there is not much you can add.

"There was no place for us to exist in this match."

Dusautoir, who will still go down as one of the French greats of recent generations, said he had not yet thought about his future in the team.

"I have just left the field after taking more than 60 points so you can imagine that is not really in my head right now."

He said he would go back to his club and then consider his place in the national team.

 
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