Lievremont set for Welsh test

Les Bleus coach delighted with Azzurri triumph

By Joe Drabble   Last updated: 9th March 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Lievremont set for Welsh test

Lievremont: Wales decider

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France head coach Marc Lievremont revealed his delight as Les Bleus bounced back from their defeat to England with a solid display against Italy in Paris.

Tries from Anthony Floch, Yannick Jauzion and Aurelien Rougerie, plus 10 points from the boot of Dimitri Yachvilli sealed a 25-13 win which ensures a face-off with Wales in Cardiff next week to decide the destination of the RBS Six Nations crown.

Lievremont made nine changes ahead of the visit of the Azzurri and praised the way his players adapted to the stern Italian test.

"We were pleased to have won," he said.

"It is a fortnight after the England defeat, which was an enormous failure for us, so we have waited for this and given a lot of attention to this match.

Positive

"We knew it was going to be extremely difficult as they had lost three games and did not want to lose a fourth.

"But we were better in the set-piece, although we missed a lot of line-outs, and we found what we needed to win and create the opportunities to get through their defence.

"We made a few errors, but overall it is positive."

Lievremont refused to give anything away about his potential squad selection for next weekend.

"We will have to see how certain players recover from the game against Italy before we think about the Wales game," he said.

Favourites

"We will have to think about whether we make changes. We want to keep the continuity going, but we are looking to create a great exploit in Cardiff.

"Obviously, with Wales at home, they are going to start as favourites - but I think it's going to be a great game."

France captain Lionel Nallet refused to be drawn into discussing the Wales showdown and admitted his relief at beating the ever-improving Azzurri.

"It is clear that it is going to be tricky against Wales, but today we are just happy to have beaten Italy," said Nallet.

"They have shown over the years that they are getting harder and harder to beat.

"So we are happy with the win and also to have recovered from our defeat to England."

Azzurri view

Italy have lost all four of this campaign's Six Nations fixtures and Nick Mallett is still searching for his first win in charge of the Azzurri.

Mallett praised his players' character, but admitted the individual class of his French opponents was the deciding factor on the day.

"We are working with the material we have," he said.

"In some positions, we don't have the likes of Rougerie or (Julien) Malzieu, or (Joe) Rokocoko.

"That's why we don't score tries. If we did, we would. The players I have are giving the best they can.

"We had a few problems but we created three or four good chances.

"We enjoyed an excellent end to the game and I am happy with how we played - Individual errors cost us today."

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