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Friday, June 07, 2013

Buck Shelford previews the New Zealand vs France three-Test series

The Lions tour of Australia is naturally a key focus at the moment, but we shouldn't overlook another fascinating tour that kicks off tomorrow, as New Zealand host France in a three-Test series that is sure to deliver plenty of thrilling rugby.

The Rugby World Cup finalists of 2011 meet again at Eden Park for another crack at one other and a chance for the All Blacks to start their international season ahead of the Rugby Championship. For France, it's the end of a long domestic season that only finished last weekend.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre is without more than a handful of first choice players, but Kieran Read has said the All Blacks will never underestimate the French.

"We always respect the French and expect them be on their game every Test. We know they've been waiting a long time for this and will be looking forward to a big challenge," said Read. "I think they've been working away on their scrum and it's always their biggest threat, so we'll expect it to come from there."

French captain Thierry Dusautoir has said that they are raring to go and ready for the challenge, and on a personal note he cannot wait to play at Eden Park again. "It is part of the legend for us. Our coach won at Eden Park and I played the final of a World Cup there. I hope to experience a victory there tomorrow for once because I think it will be my last game there."

Below is a brilliant series preview video, featuring the legendary Buck Shelford. Predictions?

New Zealand:
Israel Dagg; Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea; Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read (captain), Sam Cane, Liam Messam; Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano; Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Ben Afeaki, Jeremy Thrush, Victor Vito, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barret

France:
Yoann Huget; Adrien Plante, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Medard; Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud; Louis Picamoles, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Thierry Dusautoir (capt); Yoann Maestri, Sebastien Vahaamahina; Luc Ducalcon, Dimitri Szarzewski, Thomas Domingo. Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Alexandre Flanquart, Yannick Nyanga, Jean-Marc Doussain, Frederic Michalak, Maxime Mermoz

Posted at 5:16 pm | 9 comments

All Blacks win the 2011 RWC - France challenge the Haka

NZ beat France for Richie McCaw's 100th Test cap

France upset the All Blacks in Carisbrook

Why New Zealand do the Haka

France stand up to the Haka - RWC 2007

France beat the All Blacks - Jauzion try

France vs New Zealand 1999 WC Semi Final

Buck Shelford tribute

Ali Williams breaks his jaw from Sebastien Chabal charge

Sebastien Chabal hammers Chris Masoe

Posted in All Blacks

Viewing 9 comments

Alasdair June 07, 2013 7:49 pm

Can't wait! ALlez les Bleus!

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DaRabman June 07, 2013 9:26 pm

Hopefully no SA refs closing their eyes at the scrum this time!

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chris June 08, 2013 2:03 pm

allez les bleus , but 2-1 AB because as the text says, it has been a long season in France, but time to try a few young payers !!!8-)

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vannrugby June 08, 2013 2:08 pm

Buck Shelford, what a legend! Lord of the pitch. I hope Les Bleus won't make him lie. Good first match this morning/evening.

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spicksandspecks June 08, 2013 5:00 pm

I hope for France's sake that Craig Joubert isn't on the referees panel for this series.

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Canadian content June 08, 2013 5:32 pm

Allez les bleus! I think France will fall short internationally as long as the present club vs country situation persists

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Colombes June 08, 2013 8:34 pm

Couldn't wait for this tour
The 1st test was very promising
As said before, les bleus will be quite tired,
but i'm sure they'll try to win one of the following tests
2-1 for the AB's

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Cmeredith June 27, 2014 12:33 am

Hey mates! I've been looking for this video everywhere since it has been taken down!

Any help on finding another copy?

Cheers,
Chris

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