French Rugby
Yachvili reacts to Lievremont criticism
ESPNscrum Staff
September 13, 2011
France's Dimitri Yachvili evades Japan's defence, France v Japan, North Harbour Stadium, North Shore City, New Zealand, September 10, 2011
Yachvili was criticised for his performance against Japan © Getty Images

Scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili has reacted angrily to criticism from France coach Marc Lievremont following the side's unconvincing victory over Japan.

Lievremont was highly critical of his team after their 47-21 victory at the North Harbour Stadium on Saturday. Yachvili, along with half-back partner Francois Trinh-Duc and flanker Imanol Harinordoquy, was singled out by the French coach for labouring, indiscipline and errors. And the Biarritz scrum-half, who has been dropped to the bench for France's next fixture against Canada along with Harinordoquy, was clearly stung by the public criticism.

"It's a real pleasure, it's touching," Yachvili told AFP sarcastically on Tuesday. "No, I would prefer to be told directly rather than going through the press. He spoke out in anger. I probably deserved him saying it, or not. (But) I would rather it happened another way.

"At Biarritz over the last four years, if they had something to tell me they did it to my face without problem. It has to stay intimate because it's something that stays between the coach and the player. A coach has to be a bit of a psychologist as well."

In March Lievremont was forced to apologise to his players after calling them cowards following a shock defeat to Italy in the Six Nations. And he again laid into the players after their Rugby World Cup opener in which Japan at one point were trailing just 25-21.

As well as criticising Yachvili, Lievremont said of Harinordoquy's performance: "His conduct (against Japan) annoyed me. We know his talent, and very often he was extremely amateurish in certain phases. Given his experience and the role he has in this team, it's annoying."

However, Yachvili, who has been replaced in the starting line-up by Morgan Parra, later insisted that there was no malice towards the coach. "He's under a lot of pressure from the press as well. I don't hold it against him," Yachvili said. "But it's up to me to prove him wrong, as well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.