Moller backs France decision

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Chris Moller has refused to criticise France for their decision to tour the country with an under-strength side next year. [more]

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New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Chris Moller has refused to criticise France for their decision to tour the country with an under-strength side next year.

Les Bleus coach Bernard Laporte has been reported as stating his intent to rest his top players for next year’s Tests against the All Blacks.

Moller said he would seek clarification from the French rugby authorities, but did not see fit to lambast Laporte with many coaches taking similar decisions in the build up to the World Cup.

Indeed, Moller has had to defend his own coach Graham Henry from such charges in recent weeks.

Moller said: "It won’t be lost on you that we have chosen a rotation policy where we are not putting our best team on the field every week.

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"We are in a four-year cycle. It’s not the first time we have seen these things.

"There’s no doubt we and our coaches have been operating a rotation to build depth for the World Cup.

"If it did not exist it’s possible that would not be occurring. It’s the jewel in the crown issues.

"A national union is a sovereign organisation and can make its own decisions. Whether a coach chooses to select a top team is another matter."

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