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French squad unchanged after Twickenham mauling

©

Latest update : 2009-03-16

Still reeling from his team's 34-10 drubbing at the hands of England, French coach Marc Lièvremont said he would stick with the same 23 players for Saturday's final Six Nations fixture against Italy in Rome.

REUTERS - France coach Marc Lievremont has retained the 23-man squad that suffered a crushing 34-10 defeat against England for Saturday's Six Nations match against Italy in Rome.

"We said yesterday (Sunday) after the game that we would make changes. There will be no changes. We'll take stock of injuries in the evening," he told a news conference on Monday at the team hotel in Richmond.

"We took that decision because we have to take collective responsibility of what happened yesterday and because I didn't want to part with some players in a rush without analysing with them the reasons of such a defeat," he added.

France, unrecognisable from the team who beat Wales so impressively two weeks ago, conceded a try after just 67 seconds at Twickenham and trailed 34-0 two minutes into the second half.

After a night spent studying the video of the game, Lievremont was still lost for explanations and kept to his rule of never criticising players individually in public.

"Some of them didn't have the commitment needed in a high level game. Our win over Wales probably went to the head of some of them. Some of them did not meet the physical, mental and technical requirements of such a game," he said.

The defeat to England ruined France's outside hopes of winning the championship and the title will be decided in Cardiff next Saturday when Wales need to beat Ireland by 13 points to retain it.

A victory for France over Italy could still secure third place but the Twickenham loss will take time to get over, Lievremont said.

"To win in Rome will be the least we can do but even a good performance will not lift the question marks left by the England game."

Squad:

Forwards: Sylvain Marconnet, Lionel Faure, Thomas Domingo, Fabien Barcella, Dimitri Szarzewski, Benjamin Kayser, Jerome Thion, Sebastien Chabal, Lionel Nallet (captain), Louis Picamoles, Thierry Dusautoir, Imanol Harinordoquy, Julien Bonnaire.
Backs: Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Morgan Parra, Francois Trinh-Duc, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Mathieu Bastareaud, Damien Traille, Julien Malzieu, Cedric Heymans, Maxime Medard.
 

Date created : 2009-03-16

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