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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 05:35 GMT
Laporte hits out at referees
France coach Bernard Laporte
Laporte wants to see refereeing changes
France coach Bernard Laporte has warned that scrums will become extinct unless referees change their approach to the game.

Laporte openly criticised World Cup officials on Saturday for giving away too many penalties at the set pieces.

Looking back at the pool stages, he said: "There were some decisions that I just did not understand.

"I get the impression that, if we go on the way we are going, the scrum will disappear altogether.

"There are too many penalties whistled at scrums.

"One day I can see us having a meeting of all the teams and, because there are too many penalties, deciding to scrap scrums altogether."

Laporte has been outspoken of referees in the past, being heavily critical when his side were continually penalised earlier this season in the Six Nations game against England.

And the French boss is keen to see the scrum, a discipline which France have been historically strong at, is addressed.

He said: "If you neutralise the scrum, where you can really tire out the opposing forwards and make them less mobile in defense later in the game, then you are changing the whole nature of rugby.

"It's a sector that must be preserved."

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