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Revenge not the motivation for France

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    26 Nov 2016     Getty Images

French coach Guy Noves, who was appointed in the aftermath of the French disaster said all games were rematches, but the revenge was mainly on themselves.

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Noves said at his pre-game press conference that if his players had to be motivated by revenge at Test level, then that would be unfortunate. The true motivation should be simply from putting on the French jersey.

Talk of the World Cup quarter-final had not been occurring among the team, it was only the media who kept raising the point.

No.8 Louis Picamoles said in rugbyrama.fr: "We do not talk about past matches. It has been digested, we must move on, move forward."

The French team had changed, players had evolved and even the All Blacks had changed a little, he said.

"For those who lived through it, they keep the game to themselves because it was a game that marked a career."

But revenge was not the thought behind their preparations, he said.

Meanwhile the French were looking to contain New Zealand's wings Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo. 

French centre Remi Lamerat said: "These are two of the best wingers in the world. They are very swift and powerful. It will be important to get up and press them they are very powerful in their upper bodies but we have Virimi Vakatawa and Noa Nakaitaci. They are less publicised but I fully trust them to compete with these two All Black mountains."

He said the defence will look to get up quick on the All Blacks while also communicating better among each other.

"But it is still to difficult to contain them. It is a little challenge that has been set. We need to put more aggression in the first line," he said.

Noves said that improving France's defence had been one of his main areas of attention.

The defensive structure had been very low when he took on the coaching role but it was necessary to have correct, collective organisation in the defence.

"I think our organisation progresses. Gradually, the fact we are playing against the best allows us to find our weak points that are not so clear in the Top 14 but which emerge in Test matches where everything goes very fast.

"The defence is tied to physical preparation and the ability to keep playing time, something to which we are not accustomed," he said.