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Galthié: It’s a beautiful challenge we have ahead of us

Galthié: It’s a beautiful challenge we have ahead of us

Fabien Galthié has urged his players that they have everything to gain from next week’s clash with New Zealand after France made it two wins from two in the Autumn Nations Series by beating Georgia.

Les Bleus were not always at their best in the wet conditions in Bordeaux, but were still able to run in six tries in a 41-15 success as Damian Penaud and Peato Mauvaka scored two tries each.

A much tougher challenge now awaits in Paris though as France take on a New Zealand team who will be itching to make up for defeat in Dublin.

Two years out from the 2023 World Cup in which the teams will face off in the first match, Galthié was asked if this was the first true test of his side.

He understandably disagreed, considering France’s results over the last two years, but acknowledged how tough a task it will be to beat the All Blacks.

He said: “We took some time to review what we’ve done for the past two years and we’ve had big tests. The first game against England after the World Cup, the first game against Wales in Cardiff. The first game we won in the Autumn Cup in Scotland and there was the win in Ireland. I could also mention the win in Melbourne. So we’ve had great games.

“We’ve experienced feelings and emotions and we feel we can really go upward and move onto the next level. This is very fulfilling and enriching and gives collective experience. This was our second game in nine months with this group.

“We’ve worked together very well for three weeks with two Tests. Now it’s the last game of the autumn which will be against the best team in the world in Paris.

“If you look at the data, the last time we defeated the All Blacks in November was in the early 2000s (2000). So I want the players to make the most of it, it’s a beautiful challenge we have ahead of us.”

France will have to wait to find out if hooker Julien Marchand will be fit for the game after he was forced off in the first half with a rib injury.

Meanwhile, New Zealand will head to Paris off the back of defeat in Ireland. Galthié watched that game and was impressed with Ireland, but insists his team have to take their own approach to taking on the Rugby Championship winners.

He added: “Obviously the Irish have their own game and patterns. We can’t afford to copy them, as brilliant as they are in every aspect of the game. We have different patterns and different styles of rugby.”

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