Rugby World Cup
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre vows the next generation will 'stand up again'
Robert Bartlett
October 18, 2015
New Zealand 62-13 France (video available in Australia only)

CARDIFF, Wales -- Departing France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre cut a forlorn figure in the aftermath of his side's heavy World Cup quarterfinal defeat to New Zealand, but vowed the next generation will "stand up again."

Saint-Andre was booed by the French contingent inside the Millennium Stadium after the All Blacks cantered to a 62-13 victory in South Wales on Saturday. The former wing, who described New Zealand as "the Brazilians of rugby", leaves his post after four turbulent years at the helm of Les Bleus with Guy Noves left to take over the reins.

"I accept my responsibilities," Saint-Andre said during his post-match press conference. "I've taken a lot of blows over the past four years but I'm ready to take more.

© Stu Forster/Getty Images

"I've had some strong moments with the players and the staff, and I think the players will stand up again and will keep fighting for France.

"As a coach yes of course, it is more than difficult. That being said I want to thank my staff and the players that have been working extra hard.

New Zealand answer their critics

"Today it was the last match for some players, players who have given a lot to French rugby. A new generation that have learned a lot at this World Cup and will bring French victories in the future."

Saint-Andre expressed disappointment at the reception he was awarded after the full-time whistle.

"To be honest you would rather be clapped than booed so of course but I'm mostly disappointed for the players today, because we cannot say that they didn't give it all," he added.

"But the scenario of the match was such that even at the end of the first half we were almost there and then they scored another try."

© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Captain Thierry Dusautoir was equally as deflated as his coach in the post-match proceedings, but refused to say whether it would be his last appearance in a France shirt.

"I haven't even thought about all that to be honest," Dusautoir said. "We just lost the quarterfinal and shipped 60 points.

"I'm not thinking about that [international retirement], but about my teammates and how to recover because the World Cup is finished for us. Now we have to go back to our clubs and the Top 14.

"We've got to go back to reality, real life, and then I will have time to think about all of this. But now is not the time to think about all of that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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