Hansen prepared for France shock

Date published: June 7 2013

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has stated that previous experience of facing France has prepared him for a shock result.

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has stated that previous experience of facing France has prepared him for a shock result.

The world champions meet the Rugby World Cup 2011 runners-up in the first of a three-match series this weekend in at Eden Park.

The shock of France's victory over New Zealand in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in Cardiff is still a sore point for Hansen, when few gave France any chance of victory.

Yet despite France missing several leading stars including Morgan Parra and starting an uncapped player at fly-half in Camille Lopez, Hansen believes that France's forward pack have more than enough to cause the All Blacks problems.

“There's one thing I've learned about the French in 13 years of international coaching and that is if you don't respect them they'll thump you,” said Hansen.

“They've got the ability to be one of the best teams in the world, if they turn up.”

“Philippe [Saint-Andre] has taken them back to the French old style, of 'play what's in front of you' and enjoy your rugby,” added Hansen. “They've certainly got a monster forward pack so we're looking forward to the challenge.”

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