Beware of Bastareaud and Fofana

Getty Images     29 Mar 2018     Getty Images

Speaking exclusively to the All Blacks Podcast, Smith has singled out the potential French combination of Wesley Fofana and Mathieu Bastareaud as being a key to France’s success in New Zealand.

“They’ve got a few good guys. Wesley Fofana, who I really rate, will likely be coming into the midfield after missing the Six Nations through injury,” said Smith.

“Mathieu Bastareaud, who has ended up Captain of the side, is playing some really good footy too. Most New Zealanders would remember him as the rather overweight midfielder but he is playing with Ma’a Nonu in Toulon and has trimmed down and looking really sharp.”

Looking at France’s Six Nations form, Smith said they were much better than their fourth place finish suggests.

“They had some encouraging performances in the Six Nations – particularly towards the end. They deserved that win over England and pushed Ireland closer than anyone, and should have beat the Welsh too.

“They are referred to as sleeping giants up here because they do have a mass amount of talent.

"If they can build on what they did during the six nations they could be decent in New Zealand and pose a good challenge.