France XV will have to adjust quickly

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    14 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Preparing for the midweek game was different and the side would be concentrating on getting their basics right, he told L'


All his players were keen to make their mark in the game and whether it advanced their cause for selection in the French Test side was up to them.

Maestri wasn't disappointed to find himself in the side. No-one had a permanent place in the French Test side and there had been some disappointing results so he understood his demotion to what is being called France B.

"I'm going to use the game to try to force my way back to Test rugby," he said.

"I've been disappointed before, others have disappointed in Test rugby and others will disappoint in the future. I don't necessarily agree with the selectors decisions because it has been more of a collective situation," he said.

Maestri said it was a huge challenge to play the All Blacks but he was taking his leadership role positively. He had things to learn and to improve in the game and while his pride was hurt he wanted to respond.

He would tell the side they needed to try and have some enjoyment in the game.

"I will also tell them it's a chance to play in a stadium like they have in Lyon against a New Zealand team wearing the blue jersey and there are other players who are waiting to have that chance," he said.

Centre Henry Chavancy said: "We are all very happy and honoured to play against New Zealand. We take this as an opportunity to give them a good game. It's a chance to wear this shirt against the best team in the world. We are all very motivated."

The team has had only three training runs but Chavancy said many in the side had been part of the French Test set-up and knew the systems required.

"We worked well [at training], revised our systems and repeated what we want to implement tomorrow," he said.

The only way the team could succeed would be to play as a team.

"We will try to show a beautiful image of the France team, with an irreproachable state of mind and give everything to try to win," he said.

The French Test team coaches had not been involved in the side's preparation as they were getting ready for Saturday's Test against South Africa.