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French target RWC 2015, and admit Pumas jealousy

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James Mortimer     13 Sep 2012     Getty Images

Ironically the Pumas probably have the French to thank the most for their inclusion, as it was Les Bleus who fell to Pumas not once, but twice, in Paris no less, during the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

That forced the International Rugby Board to include their feats on that year's agenda, leading to inclusion into the Investec Rugby Championship, and Saint-Andre felt they could have beaten the Springboks, while they tested the World Champions.

"Argentina are better than just a good side," he said to AFP.

"They drew with South Africa at home in their first Four Nations (the Investec Rugby Championship) clash when they deserved to win.

"In New Zealand, until the yellow card, they were holding their own. Argentina will progress, they have prepared for the Four Nations as if it were the World Cup. That is our problem: our players do not have time for such a phase of development.

"After a month of holidays, they (Argentina) went straight into a series of friendly matches."

"The Argentinians have adapted to international rugby in the professional era and in its organisation, they have overtaken France in that domain."

Meanwhile Les Bleus, runners up at the Rugby World Cup last year and currently fifth in the IRB standings, have targeted scalps of the Wallabies, Pumas and Samoans to ensure they earn a top four berth when the Rugby World Cup seedings for 2015 are calculated.

"These are three important tests," he said.

"Australia who are a bit of a bete noire for France, Argentina will be as well prepared as ever before because they will have been together for four months and the Samoans.

"We have the time...to prepare well for the Australians and the Argentinians. We are fifth in the IRB rankings, just behind the English. The World Cup draw is December 3 and the target is to be a seed."

To be a 'seed', France will avoid the likes of the All Blacks in the pool stages.