Marc Lievremont happy to suffer a hangover for World Cup win

Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand v France

Venue:
Eden Park, Auckland
Date:
Sunday, 23 October
Kick-off:
0900 BST
Coverage:
Live text on the BBC Sport website; live radio commentary on talkSPORT; live television coverage on ITV1
Marc Lievremont (centre)
Lievremont (centre) labelled his players "spoilt brats" after their semi-final win

Marc Lievremont says his final wish before he stands down as France coach is to wake up on Monday morning with a hangover.

The 42-year-old would trade a morning-after headache for the joy of World Cup final triumph over New Zealand.

"I am relaxed, I'm focused [but I want] to wake up with a hangover," he said before France's third World Cup final appearance.

France previously lost finals in 1987 to New Zealand and 1999 to Australia.

The former coach of the national under-21 side and club side Dax played in the 35-12 defeat by Australia 12 years ago in Cardiff.

And he says the destination of the Webb Ellis trophy is now out of his control.

Lievremont added: "Now I hand everything over to the captain and the players. It really is all down to them.

"All the moments this week have been [their] last moments with me - the last moments with staff, training with players - and this is the last press conference.

"It is going to be very trying to leave you [journalists] all behind."

New Zealand's captain, Richie McCaw, has been struggling with a foot injury and Lievremont smiled when he was asked if he had any special plans to target the open-side flanker.

"That's something I forgot to mention to my players, thanks for bringing it up," he joked.

"More seriously, I think the French team is one of the most, if not the most, disciplined teams in the competition. One of our aims is to remain disciplined for this match.

"At no point, on or off the pitch, have we been guilty of any actions of this nature. I do not think it is possible to criticise the players - they have been very respectful."

Some critics have dismissed the validity of France being in the final after their unconvincing group-stage performances that saw lacklustre wins over Japan and Canada, defeat against New Zealand and a surprise headline-grabbing loss to Tonga.

Lievremont kept faith in his players, despite reports of disquiet in the camp, and they produced knock-out wins over England in the quarter-final and Wales in the last four.

And the man who won 25 caps for France in his playing days says his job is now complete.

He concluded: "To be honest, I would like it all to be over now - and for it to end well."

New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Richard Kahui, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (capt), Kieran Read.

Replacements: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Adam Thomson, Andy Ellis, Stephen Donald, Sonny Bill Williams.

France: Maxime Médard, Vincent Clerc, Aurélien Rougerie Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili; Jean-Baptiste Poux, William Servat, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Papé, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Julien Bonnaire, Imanol Harinordoquy.

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Fabien Barcella, Julien Pierre, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Jean-Marc Doussain, François Trinh-Duc, Damien Traille.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

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