France coach Marc Lievremont has rounded on players who defied his orders and went out partying after their narrow 9-8 World Cup semifinal win over Wales.
"I asked the players not to go out and I learned a little later some of them did," Lievremont answered when asked why he went to sleep after Saturday's victory at Eden Park in a bad mood.
"We spoke about this this morning and I told them what I thought of them, that they were selfish, disobedient and that for four years they have been on my case. But at the end of the day it won't stand in the way that we are in the final."
Lievremont's comments again re-ignited rumours from earlier in the tournament there was a huge rift between the French players and management, which surfaced as the team advanced to the knock-out phase despite losing to New Zealand and Tonga in pool play.
"We spoke about (why they went out) and it is really not that important. In the end a cigarette, a dessert after dinner or a couple of drinks will not affect how you play in the final," added Lievremont, who before this tournament started knew he was being replaced as France coach by fellow former international Philippe Saint-Andre in December.
Lievremont, a flank in the French side that lost the 1999 World Cup final to Australia in Cardiff, hinted his players had not taken the proper responsibility for their actions.
"The problem is we are not world champions yet and we just qualified for the final. This reminds me of 1999 when there were four days of celebration for the semifinal (win)," he said.
Reflecting on Saturday's semifinal win, Lievremont was adamant Irish referee Alain Rolland was right to show Wales captain Sam Warburton a 19th minute red card for a "tip tackle" on France wing Vincent Clerc.
"I thought the sending off was totally justified and it is not my fault if other people do not agree," he said, highlighting his team's defence as key to the victory over 14-man Wales.
"The Welsh played a great, pragmatic game and it was great to watch our defence," he said.
"We had great communication and we had a lot of encouragement between the players and there were no penalties in the last 20 minutes, apart from one that I thought was not justified.
"We used everything in our French armoury in order to win this match.
Lievremont said little would change for next weekend's final against the winners of the second semifinal later Sunday between New Zealand and Australia.
"Essentially, I will copy and paste what we did the last two weeks," he said.
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