Gregory Coupet has hailed his successor as France No1, Hugo Lloris, a "phenomenon" after the Lyon goalkeeper's clean sheet against Republic of Ireland put Les Bleus on the brink of a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

Nicolas Anelka's deflected second-half shot secured the French a 1-0 win in a closely-fought first leg in Dublin on Saturday night, leaving Raymond Domenech's side firm favourites to advance to the world finals.

And Coupet acknowledged his side must also be grateful to the man between the posts for his contribution at Croke Park.

"Lloris is a phenomenon," the 36-year-old told French radio station RMC ahead of tomorrow night's second leg in Paris. "Lyon owes him a lot already for their third place last season.

Lloris is a phenomenon. Lyon owes him a lot already for their third place last season.

Gregory Coupet on France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

"Due to his strengths and what he has done this weekend (against Ireland), the choice is made on Hugo Lloris. He is playing well at the moment and there is no reason to change. At one point, it is important to elect a number one."