Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Southland sensational try after big bump


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


The Human Hurdle Attempt


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Springboks edge All Blacks in thriller

Thursday, November 07, 2013

France vs New Zealand and November Tests Preview video

France have a testing line-up this November, starting with the All Blacks on Saturday.  It's set to be an action packed few weeks for Les Blues, with bruising rugby and plenty of action. Here is a short psych-up preview from the French Rugby Federation.

France will host two of the top three teams in the world, plus Tonga inbetween. The biggest thing on their minds right now though will be the first big challenge, a meeting with the All Blacks, the team they so famously knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in 2007, and met in the final in 2011.

The French have opted for the tried and tested in what could well be a tight contest. They've gone for Morgan Parra at scrumhalf, with form number nine Jonathan Pelissie not getting a shout. Remi Tales will partner Parra, while captain Thierry Dusautoir will provide the usual hard graft up front.

"I picked Morgan for his experience and his kicking skills," Philippe Saint-Andre said. "We will have to be intelligent and focused defensively. There is obviously some fear when you face New Zealand. We should build on that fear, it must not annihilate us. We will need to run and be creative."

The All Blacks have named their most experienced pack in history, with 538 collective caps amongst the forwards. Out wide Cory Jane returns, with Charles Piutau on the other wing. Up front the loose trio of Liam Messam, Richie McCaw and Kieran Read are sure to prove a handful.

"France are one of our great rugby foes and there is a rich history of matches between our two countries, so we are certainly looking forward to this weekend," said coach Steve Hansen.

"We know this weekend's Test won't be easy - the French will come at us with real physicality, passion and something new.

The All Blacks will be wearing their alternate white strip, with a red poppy embossed on the sleeve to mark Armistice Day  (November 11), the anniversary of the end of hostilities of World War 1. The last Test between the two sides in Paris was in 2006.

France team:
Brice Dulin, Yoann Huget, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Médard, Remi Tales, Morgan Parra; Yannick Forestier, Benjamin Kayser, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Papé, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Wenceslas Lauret, Damian Chouly Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vincent Debaty, Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Antonie Claassen, Jean-Marc Doussain, Camille Lopez, Gael Fickou

New Zealand team:
Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ben Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Charles Piutau, Daniel Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), Liam Messam, Samuel Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock Replacements: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Ryan Crotty

Posted at 3:56 pm | 20 comments

Viewing 20 comments

Eddie-g November 07, 2013 5:34 pm

Anyone else think Saint-Andre picks his sides by lottery? No more than 8 of the team are hands-down first choice players, and the thought of experimenting with your line-up against this NZ team... I fear this could get ugly.

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matt November 07, 2013 6:13 pm

Where are the two Toulouse number 8s? Picamoles (?) and Gallant (?), they were outstanding against Saracens

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Colombes November 07, 2013 6:40 pm

Picamoles, Nyanga, Domingo and Machenaud are injured.
Bastareaud, Galan and Michalak are out of form

For many other reasons, St Andre has some problems to identify his starting team since 1 year

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matt November 07, 2013 9:53 pm

Thanks, that clears up that up. His selections have been crazy, but I thought this was ridiculous

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4LC4TR4Z November 11, 2013 8:03 am

Oh and you forgot that Racing Metro and Toulouse where playing a "friendly game" at Hong-Kong in the meantime, in desperate search of €€€€, as well.

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Ottawa Rugger November 07, 2013 6:35 pm

Picamoles has a hip injury I think and Gallant is very young. PSA probably doesn't want to throw him into the deep end against the top team in the world

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joe November 07, 2013 7:05 pm

nice bit of propaganda there with the only two cameos from tonga being illegal hits haha

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LeonG November 07, 2013 8:11 pm

I love both sides. This encounter always promises and often delivers. As usual, if France really turn up for this match then we have a sizzler but if they don't the gloom that overhang Les Bleus last season will continue. For the All Blacks we know that even with a weak start, sooner or later, they will produce rugby that makes them them justifiably the best in our galaxy.

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cheyanqui November 07, 2013 9:49 pm

so was Bismarck's hit

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cheyanqui November 07, 2013 9:49 pm

horrible choice of music. from the nation that likes Jerry Lewis

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moddeur November 10, 2013 1:21 pm

I do like Jerry Lee Lewis, well except fo his pedophilic tendencies that is (that made him marry his 13 year old cousin).

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Canadian content November 07, 2013 10:27 pm

Fear greatly for is French side. But if there's any time to experiment a little...

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Canadian content November 07, 2013 10:29 pm

Then again Thierry saves his best for les blacks... One last great game for him against them?

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joeythelemur November 08, 2013 4:01 am

Interesting that the ABs are in their alternate strip again. Seems like this happens often with the french. 2007 RWC of course, but I also recall the French chose to allow NZ wear their traditional black in the 2011 final when they had the right to force them to wear an alternate. I guess I just don't see that the black and blue tones are that close, but maybe it really is tough to discern on the field.

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Colombes November 08, 2013 8:37 am

I think it's because of the new les bleus jersey.
Darker than the last 'bleu roi' of the last season.
Let's watch it tomorrow

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AJ_Capote November 08, 2013 10:14 am

I was reading an article the other day which listed the amount of veteran players in this French team who don't even start for their clubs anymore...and all of the young form talent ignored by PSA. Anyone else think this has whiffs of Martin Johnson for England? Sticking with tried and tested even when form is screaming that other less experienced players should be given their chance. Because at least with a young developing team, a defeat can make the team stronger. When you pick players already at their maximum (or in some cases past their prime) where do you go from there when you loose? If your mantra is 'win at all costs', you are defined by a defeat.

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kadova November 08, 2013 9:07 pm

French fans would agree wholeheartedly. Everybody seems to hate PSA here. For ionstance, for what he did to Michalak at the 6 Nations (kept picking him up until he went injured in the last match) to what he did not, like never giving actual reasons for not picking up this player or that player, trying players out of position, not picking up the in form players...
Fans understand he needs to find the best team possible for the RWC 2015, but he seems not to know what to do, looking hesitant.
And the team never had so bad results for years.
Of course, as he does not give actual explanations, we could all be wrong in the end.
In short, we're all scratching our heads since he's in charge.

To be fair, he got the right mix for the nov12 tests, we have to acknowledge that. But that's the only positive.

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stroudos November 08, 2013 11:29 am

Love the video.

I have a very strict rule which says never ever bet if France is involved, (when you think they'll win they let you down, when you think they'll get hammered they seem to pull something out of the bag). Looking through the team line-ups, (don't recognise half the French names, whereas NZ reads like a who's who of awesomeness and experience) and considering how good NZ have been throughout the Rugby Championship, it is very tempting to go and have a flutter on NZ by 20+, but experience tells me it's not that straightforward......

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cheyanqui November 08, 2013 3:44 pm

I was being facetious about the Bismarck hit. Apologies for the attempted online sarcasm.

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