World Cup semi-finals - Ashton v Laporte
11 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - Penpix of England coach Brian Ashton and Bernard Laporte of France ahead of the World Cup semi-final at the Stade de France on Saturday:
11 October 2007
PARIS (AFP) - Penpix of England coach Brian Ashton and Bernard Laporte of France ahead of the World Cup semi-final at the Stade de France on Saturday:
Brian Ashton (ENGLAND)
The 61-year-old former teacher was a fan of Wigan rugby league as a boy but played union as a scrum-half in England as well as France and Italy. Coached English giants Bath who he led to four league and cup doubles and was also in charge of the Ireland national team for two troubled years before resigning. Took over from Andy Robinson as England coach in November 2006 and has a record of eight wins and seven defeats in his 15 matches in charge. Widely praised for tactics and team selection in the 12-10 quarter-final win over Australia.
Bernard Laporte (FRANCE)
*sidebar1*The 43-year-old Laporte has no need to worry over future employment once the World Cup ends as he will take up the post of a junior sports minister in the French government. Former scrum-half with top side Toulouse, he is often lampooned for his scatter-gun, sometimes incomprehensible southern accent. Has been in charge of the national side since 1999, claiming two Grand Slams and has overall record of 62 wins in 96 matches. But he's driven by desire for revenge for the dismal 2003 World Cup semi-final loss to England. Was facing abject failure against the All Blacks but the upset French win has afforded him a new lease of life.
Subject: French news