Portugal deserves its chance - Henry

Photosport     15 Sep 2007     Photosport

He watched the tournament newcomers play Scotland last weekend.

"There was a huge amount of spirit in the side and I think they are delighted to be here and I think they are really enjoying their rugby.

"I've been impressed with their attitude and desire to play."

Henry added that it was his belief that playing the All Blacks was an important step in the development process for the Portugese game.

"I think it's important that they experience playing against quality rugby sides and they get better from that experience," he said.

Argentina had shown that the policy was the right one with the advance in its game in recent years.

Captain for the day Jerry Collins said that every team had earned the right to be in France and who was to say some sides didn't have the right to be here.

Collins said the team was focused on achieving what it wanted out of the game and it had not looked at a potential scoreline.

"If we think about how many points we are going to score, we will forget how to score them. We'll be just focusing on what we want to achieve in this game.

"The score will take care of itself if we play the way we have been working on in training," he said.

With the prospect that he could end up playing every game of the tournament, Collins said he had not given that any consideration. He produced a typical response when saying: "Every athlete wants to play every game, but that's a dream - and I'm awake."