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Lievremont turns up heat on France clash with Irish 'ogre' jibe

French coach Marc Lievremont has taken a swipe at Ireland ahead of Saturday's Six Nations showdown in Paris by describing Declan Kidney's side at "ogres".

After defeat at Croke Park last year, Lievremont criticised Ireland's style of play as "boring" and not good for rugby. And, when announcing a team showing two injury-enforced changes to the side that won 18-9 at Murrayfield -- Vincent Clerc and Alexis Palisson come onto the wings for Aurelien Rougerie and Benjamin Fall -- Lievremont said Ireland were not as "spectacular" as Wales and he expected a conservative game-plan from Kidney.

"We think the Irish will kick a lot for territorial advantage and it will be interesting to use Alexis as a second full-back alongside Clement Poitrenaud," said Lievremont. "Considering the kicking game the Irish have, his (Palisson's) left foot can help us clear our lines.

"Ireland are very well organised, they know when to slow the play down. They have an attention to detail and a pragmatism that reminds me of the Australian team," Lievremont added.

"They are less spectacular than Wales or the All Blacks, but play an incredibly efficient game, and have conceded the least penalties in the Six Nations for some time now. They will arrive in Paris with the appetites of ogres."

Earlier this week, Lievremont heaped pressure on Saturday's referee Wayne Barnes by claiming France were the victims of unfair decisions -- ignoring the fact that no French player has been sin-binned in the past five Six Nations -- and cited the penalty counts in the win over Scotland last weekend and in last year's defeat to Ireland.

Barnes refereed France to their famous World Cup quarter-final win over the All Blacks in 2007, becoming a hate figure in New Zealand after a string of contentious decision went in France's favour.

France's forwards coach Didier Retiere has followed Lievremont's lead by saying Ireland, particularly in the scrum, benefited from some lax refereeing by Romain Poite in their 29-11 win over Italy last weekend.


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