June International Tours

French coach Lievremont concern on S.H. ref


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France coach Marc Lievremont said Friday he is concerned about a Southern Hemisphere referee controlling the series-deciding second Test against the All Blacks.

South African Marius Jonker takes over the whistle from Irishman George Clancy, who controlled the first Test won by France 27-22 in Dunedin last week.

Lievremont said he wanted to sit in on a pre-match meeting that All Blacks coach Graham Henry has arranged with Jonker.

Although he said he had no particular issues to raise, Lievremont said he wanted to “listen and learn want Graham Henry wants to know.”

Northern and Southern Hemisphere rugby have been played with different rule variations in the past year, and the All Blacks struggled to adapt to the common laws in place for this Test series, particularly in the breakdown area.

Lievremont had no complaints with the way Clancy controlled the first half of the first Test, where France turned with a 17-3 lead.

But he felt the Irishman adopted a more Southern approach after the break as the All Blacks fought back to level the score 17-17 before being shut out in the closing stages.

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