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French memories: Cory Jane

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allblacks.com     21 Apr 2018     Getty Images

Speaking exclusively on the All Blacks Podcast, 53-Test All Black Jane recalls the pain of his very first Test loss to France, his rivalry with French wing Maxime Merdard and much more. 

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“In 2009 we played down in Dunedin and they beat us. It was my first loss for the All Blacks and I then realised we were playing for New Zealand and not our (Super Rugby) franchise. When you lose for you franchise it sucks. I hate losing like the next guy. But it’s your franchise. So that region is in mourning. When you lose for the All Blacks - New Zealand shut down,” Jane says.

“So I felt that. I was like ‘wow this is what it feels like’. Because I have been a fan and when the All Blacks lose you can feel it. But when you are part of it, it didn’t feel too good. That was my first memory of France.”

From the low of that first Test loss in Dunedin to the high of the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, Jane has experienced the full range of emotions against France – and even developed a memorable one-on-one rivalry.

“Maxime Merdard was the guy that I faced on the wing. We had some good little battles. When we played in the south of France, I caught the ball and he tackled me into the sideline and he yelled something in French in my ear,” Jane says. “So the next one I ended up fending him in the face. Then I got him again in the World Cup. I just closed my eyes and threw my hand at him and it worked. So there was a cool little battle between us.
Looking ahead to the three-Test Steinlager Series in June, Jane believes France will test the All Blacks with their physical style of play.

“They compete, they are passionate and most games you just don’t know which way they are going to go. They are a tough team, they are very physical,’ Jane says.

“France showed that they can play well in the Six Nations this year but can they do it consistently? I think we might see one or two close games but I think New Zealand have the firepower to go well,” Jane says.

Listen to the full podcast with Cory Jane here.

France play three Tests against the All Blacks in the Steinlager Series at Eden Park (June 9), Westpac Stadium (June 16) and Dunedin (23 June). Get your tickets here.