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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 17:22 GMT
Berbizier launches Laporte attack
Pierre Berbizier
Berbizier took over as Italy's coach in Arpil 2005
Italy coach Pierre Berbizier has queried whether Bernard Laporte can lead hosts France to World Cup glory ahead of their Six Nations opener.

The ex-France captain, who also coached Les Bleus from 1991-95, said: "The coach is at the heart of the problems.

"I have never seen so many resources put at the French team's disposal - I would have liked as many in 1995.

"But being given all the resources to be a success is one thing, using them properly is another."

Berbezier claimed in L'Equipe newspaper that Laporte does not stand comparison to Aime Jacquet, who took France to football World Cup success on home soil in 1998.

"There was the 'Jacquet effect' back then," he said. "Many people believe that because the World Cup takes place in France this year, it's going to be like in 1998.

"The only conviction I have about this World Cup is that it will be a great, popular success in the country.

"I hope that France will be crowned world champions, but I have my doubts. Do we really know what we are doing?"

Italy take on France at the Stadio Flamini in Rome on Saturday (kick-off 1330 GMT).

  • Italy have called up Roberto Mandelli after flanker Alessandro Zanni suffered a muscle strain while playing for Calvisano at the weekend.

    Italy squad (revised): Backs: Mirco Bergamasco, Gonzalo Canale, Denis Dallan, Roland De Marigny, Paul Griffen, Andrea Masi, Ramiro Pez, Kaine Robertson, Andrea Scanavacca, Alessandro Troncon, Maurizio Zaffiri.

    Forwards: Mauro Bergamasco, Valerio Bernabo, Marco Bortolami, Martin Castrogiovanni, Santiago Dellape, Carlo Festuccia, Andrea Lo Cicero, Roberto Mandelli, Carlos Nieto, Fabio Ongaro, Sergio Parisse, Salvatore Perugini, Josh Sole

    Ibanez captains injury-hit France
    28 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
    Vermeulen injury blow for France
    16 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
    Troncon earns Six Nations return
    23 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union


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