29 Nov 2010

French coach vows to get team back on track after loss to Australia

5:58 am on 29 November 2010

The France rugby coach Marc Lievremont insists he will stay in his post and fight to restore his side's battered reputation following a 59-16 humiliation by Australian on Sunday morning.

The 42-year-old has fallen from grace dramatically just months after being hailed as a hero for delivering France's first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2004, to the extent that questions over his position surfaced in the light of the Australian mauling.

An estimated 60,000 spectators at the Stade de France looked on in disbelief as the French shipped 46 points in the second-half having turned round at the break locked at 13-13.

The papers were quick to suggest the reverse of form had left France's hopes of winning an elusive World Cup crown in tatters.

They left little room for optimism in two-time finalists France - whose previous worst home result had been a 52-10 defeat by South Africa in November 1997 - lifting the Webb Ellis trophy in New Zealand in November 2011.