Rugby World Cup: Catch of the day... smoked and gutted

One thing that can be said of the French is they know how to relax - whether fishing or having a crafty fag out the window of an Auckland hotel.

With the weight of his team's biggest match on his shoulders, French coach Marc Lievremont could be forgiven some pre-match stress relief.

But dragging on cigarettes out the window of his non-smoking hotel room may not be the best tension reliever.

His charges, some of whom he has called "spoiled brats", took a different tack with a heli-fishing trip to Great Barrier Island.

Lievremont, a former back-row forward for France with 25 caps under his belt, was snapped by staff working in an office building opposite the Crowne Plaza in Albert St in central Auckland.

They were surprised to see the 42-year-old, and surprised how often he reappeared - cigarette in hand.

"He does it all the time, he's out there constantly, multiple times a day," said Caroline, who didn't want her last name used.

"Our meeting room looks right across to the Crowne Plaza. We'll be sitting in the meeting room and he'll be sitting there smoking all the time."

She said Lievremont - pictured in an official France team uniform - poked his arm in and out of the window as he puffed away, oblivious to his audience below.

"We've seen him having two in a row. He'll have a couple of cigs as he sits there. Or he'll go away and then come back again.

"To his credit he does puff it out the window," Caroline said.

"He looks pensive. He's not relaxed, no. Sometimes you can see him looking back to the door a bit, like he's going to be busted.

"We thought considering everything he's probably a little stressed."

- NZ Herald

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