France has found its identity - Dusautoir

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    09 Jun 2018     Getty Images

Now retired and enjoying life out of public scrutiny, Dusautoir told Midi Olympique that having watched France start the Six Nations looking 'complicated' they had finished it well.

"From the start, they managed to find the answers to create a real team spirit and achieve good performances," he said.

While they hadn't won the tournament they had shown improvement.

The last man to lead France to a win over New Zealand, in Dunedin in 2009 he said that win was a great memory.

"For me it was an exceptional experience," he said.

As a new captain he didn't know what he was stepping into because he had never been one to put himself in that sort of position and he had never been the most talkative of players.

"Public speaking was not my thing. Doing it spontaneously is one thing but doing it regularly with a special expectation of your teammates is another," he said.

He was not the oldest player in the side but coach Marc Lievremont made the decision to replace Lionel Nallet as leader. It had been only as a replacement leader initially but after it worked out well, Dusautoir retained the job.

He said while he had never been the most quotable of captains he does speak out more easily now, especially on points that concerns him.

Having stepped back from playing he can take a different view of the game.

"I do not have to worry about the next game, the way my words will be perceived, by my teammates especially. I have always been very careful about that," he said.

While his name had been touted as a prospective coach with either a French club or possibly the national team he said that may be something that happened in the future but his choice for the moment was to step back from rugby and look at other realities in his life.

Meanwhile, the French side have been working in relative isolation in preparing for the Test where they will be aiming to achieve the fifth Test win on New Zealand soil by a French team.

Efforts had been made to ensure that while it was the end of their season in the north they would be fresh and ready to play. They acknowledge the Six Nations has been put behind them and they are taking another step in the revitalisation of their side.

Of the team that started their last Six Nations game against Wales in Cardiff, 11 changes have been made but that has been done to accommodate the experience of players like Morgan Parra, Yoann Maestri and Maxime Medard.