The madness of coach Marc
Auckland, North Island
On one hand he has steered an underperforming French side to their first World Cup final in 12 years. On the other he has done so while spitting out the sort of insults that normally start wars.
In a moment, the question of whether the latter has made the former possible. Before then, a little reminder of Marc's most barking bon mots.
To French journalist after pool stage loss to All Blacks: "Go to hell with your question. I really regret the detestable atmosphere that we have at these press conferences."
After pool stage defeat by Tonga: "I thought I had experienced everything in terms of shame. But this time around, it's been an extremely violent feeling again. Each missed pass, each missed tackle, I took them as a deep personal failure."
On his attempts at team-building: "I would have liked for us to gather around a few drinks yesterday, to talk, to share thoughts, to tell each other that it's a beautiful adventure, all things considered. And I was disappointed.
"At the end of the press conference, I got us some beers to release the pressure - and we all split in different directions. I saw players with their agent on the eve [of the match] and after the game instead of regrouping as a team. It's a kind of disappointment."
After defeat by Italy in the Six Nations: "I'm at a bit of a dead end. I feel like I'm responsible for this, but the players lack courage. There is a certain cowardice. When I talk to them, nothing happens.
"They betrayed us, they have betrayed me and they have betrayed the French national team shirt. Do you really think I told them to play like that? They weren't asked to walk on the moon."
On former England hooker Mark Regan: "He was ridiculous and grotesque. His behaviour is offensive and against the rules. He is a clown."
After beating England in the quarter-finals: "Yesterday we had the same players out there as in Wellington against Tonga, except that they grew a big pair of balls."
After some players went out drinking following their win over Wales: "I told them they are a bunch of spoiled brats. Undisciplined, disobedient, sometimes selfish. Always complaining, always moaning. It has been like this for four years."
Marc Lievremont has enjoyed a colourful and testy relationship with the world's media. Photo: Getty
If it's a joy to read, it's also a rather unusual tactic. Are Lievremont's outbursts part of a cunning grand strategy, or - like his burgeoning Dick Dastardly moustache - the sign of a man who simply doesn't care what the world thinks of him any more?
Former All Black Mike Clamp has lived in France for the last 25 years. "The typical Frenchman walks around with his chest puffed out, like he owns the world," he told the New Zealand Herald, perhaps unconsciously apeing Lievremont's approach. "It's a terrible way to express oneself.
"In response, the best way to play them is to kick them up the backside. Coaches here would rant, rave and scream at players. They'd say 'you're useless!' and individuals would thrive on the negativity, happy to feel like the worst guy in the world. The French like to prove a guy wrong."
Lievremont was asked again about those "spoiled brats" comments as he unveiled his starting XV for Sunday's final. Typically, he did not hold back.
"I said these things to try to put pressure on the players, to motivate them," he admitted. "But when I read my words in the written press, I realised I might have been better keeping my big fat mouth shut.
"Obviously it was humour. I said it affectionately. The players are real pains, but they're lovable."
Now for the question of whether his maverick approach has paid dividends. France manager Jo Maso, who has seen four different head coaches come and go during his time with the national team, is in no doubt.
"Marc Lièvremont is the best France coach I have worked with," he says.
"He is a little unusual as the coach because he always tells the truth, and sometimes that can be quite painful for those who don't like that approach.
"If a player has a bad game, Marc will not hesitate to criticise and that perhaps does not always make him popular. It may look like confrontation but it is not really. It is just honesty. He is very generous with his praise also but sometimes that is forgotten.
"Most coaches like to say the 'right' thing but Marc does not hide the truth, he likes everything out in the open. He also has a sense of humour that perhaps they do not understand."
Unfortunately not all the players seem to agree. Moments after Lievremont had finished his news conference on Wednesday, second row Lionel Nallet sat down in the same seat.
"I did not appreciate it at all," he said, when asked about his coach's latest outburst.
"We already knew that the week was going to be complicated enough so perhaps there was no reason to add to that pressure. Quite truthfully, I did not like what he said."
Not all of the French squad have enjoyed or appreciated Lievremont's outspoken style. Photo: Getty
Lievremont has had his successes with France, leading the team to the Grand Slam in 2010 and a win over the All Blacks in New Zealand the year before. So how do his fellow countrymen back home feel about what he's done over here?
"Lievremont has of course come in for a lot of criticism - from fans as well as journalists," says Hugh Schofield, of the BBC's Paris bureau.
"It has not exactly been a shining World Cup. But there is still a deep affection for him. It is inconceivable that he could suffer the utter public contempt that former France football manager Raymond Domenech had to endure.
"The Wales match here is seen as a shocker, which Wales should obviously have won. But it was not a humiliation, and the French showed grit to the end."
"Fans do question his judgements," says Philippe Segers, a Parisian management consultant and rugby fanatic. "But they still like him. They like the way he talks - his plain-speaking. He is part of the rugby family. He has rugby values.
"My personal view of Lievremont is that he is not the greatest of trainers. He was appointed because he was a much-loved guy. His nomination was very popular in rugby circles. I don't think he ever had a real strategy, but I think he actually is the right person in the job."
On Wednesday Lievremont was frequently at his contrary best.
"There seem to be a lot of people here today," was his opening gambit. "There must be something going on at the weekend."
Asked about his team's stodgy playing style, he was defiant. "If we have to play the same way as we did against Wales to win the World Cup, then we will."
But would that work against the All Blacks? "I don't think so, no."
Do not rule out another spectacular outburst before Sunday's final.
"Although we're playing the All Blacks in the World Cup final, usually I'm a very spontaneous person," he said happily, "so I haven't prepared anything specific to talk to the players."
Shoot from the cuff, Marc. We're all listening.