French players led by former skipper Lionel Nallet have denied reports

that there has been an “uprising” in their camp against coach Marc


“I have been hearing stories, rumours about little

uprisings by the players and a lot of nonsense like that,” said Nallet

who was the French captain under Lievremont from January 2008 until

March 2009.

“At the moment, there is a very good atmosphere in our squad and we are all united with each other.

“Yesterday, we had a debriefing after the match (37-17 loss to New Zealand) with the coaches and it went off very well.”


about discontent in the 30-strong French squad were circulating even

before the French arrived in New Zealand, with an unnamed player quoted

as saying 25 of them were against the coach.

“That makes me laugh,” said Nallet. If we were 25 against Marc Lievremont, we would all have been aware of that by now.”


is clear is that Lievremont has had his problems with the media and

with some of his players, since they have been in New Zealand.


the loss to the All Blacks, he lashed out at French journalists

covering his team saying there was a “detestable” atmosphere at his

media briefings which left him angry and upset.

He then had to

talk to No.8 Louis Picamoles and fullback Damien Traille, who had

demanded explanations for why they were replaced at halftime in the All

Blacks match.

Earlier in the tournament, he upset Dimitri

Yachvili, Imanol Harinordoquy and Francois Trinh-Duc by lambasting them

publicly for their individual performances in the win over Japan.


however, insisted there were no problems with Traille and Picamoles,

who were only expressing their natural frustrations at not playing the

full 80 minutes against the All Blacks.

“The players have every right to express their feelings,” he said.


and Damien both came to speak to me after what they said was reported

in the press but, as I don’t the press any more, I told them that they

had no need to worry.”

Lievremont, who played flanker in the

French team that reached the 1999 final, was a surprise appointment as

national team coach four years ago, taking over from Bernard Laporte

after the last World Cup.

But relations between him and sections

of the French media have steadily deteriorated, especially over

criticism of his ever-changing selection policies, and the ill-feeling

has been apparent in New Zealand.

The French won their first two matches against Japan and Canada before losing heavily to the All Blacks.


need just one point against Tonga in their final match next Saturday to

ensure a place in the quarter-finals and a likely showdown with

England, who defeated France in the semi-finals in Paris four years ago.