France wary of All Black scrum

Photosport     01 Jun 2007     Photosport

Fielding arguably the strongest forward pack in world rugby right now, the hosts are considered firm favourites to overcome a relatively inexperienced French outfit dubbed the 'B-side' by many pundits.

However, despite suggestions his forward pack is clearly facing adversity, Brunel says he has challenged his players to prove the critics wrong.

"The All Blacks have made some specific improvements to their scrum in recent years," he said at a press conference on Thursday morning.

But in response to suggestions France's scrum had been deteriorating in recent outings, the forwards coach said the All Blacks' improvements had made many nations look bad.

"It's mainly the All Blacks who have improved their scrum," said Brunel.

"Our challenge is to challenge them with our fitness."

"In past encounters against the All Blacks we have come across problems with different timing of the scrums."

"Now everyone has the same timing with the new rules."

France team manager Jo Masso, while admitting a win would be nice against the World Cup favourites, added that he would be happy if the side put in maximum effort come Saturday night.

"What is important to us is the commitment the players will bring to the game," he said.