Richie McCaw.
Richie McCaw. SMP Images - Bruce Palme

French player blasts McCaw

FRENCH number eight Imanol Harinordoquy has lashed out at All Black skipper Richie McCaw claiming he was constantly infringing throughout the Rugby World Cup final.

Harinordoquy told French rugby bi-weekly Midi Olympique that referee Craig Joubert let McCaw get away with several indiscretions in his side's 8-7 defeat to New Zealand.

"He was only looking at us," said Harinordoquy. "He [McCaw] played the whole match in our camp. He did a lot of [bad] things and nobody told him anything.

"Three minutes from the end of the game, I saw him dive on the side of a ruck and he stayed there for ages."

The 76-test veteran also hit out at former coach Marc Lievremont in the same interview, who he claims was "lost" during the tournament.

"He was lost, I will not miss him," the Biarritz forward said.

"After the defeat against Tonga I did not attach too much importance to what Marc said."

France were inconsistent throughout the World Cup, losing two pool matches to the All Blacks and Tonga before earning back-to-back wins over England and Wales to reach the tournament final.

In a spirited effort in the final they were pipped 8-7 by the All Blacks.

Lievremont seemed to lose the respect of his players during the tournament and didn't help the cause by labelling some of his squad as "spoiled brats" just days before the World Cup final.

"It was our adventure. It was meant to be the nice experience of 30 men," Harinordoquy said.

"We had to free ourselves from his supervision. He cast the stone at us too often. When something goes wrong, we're all in the same boat. There are no good or bad guys."


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