New Zealand boss Graham Henry is taking nothing for granted ahead of their Rugby World Cup final – despite the poor form of France.
It seems strange that a team preparing to run out in the World Cup final should be criticised for their less than impressive performances, but that’s the position Marc Lievremont’s men find themselves in.
After pool defeats against New Zealand and Tonga, and a tight semi final win against 14-man Wales, France are unfancied at 13/2 to win their first World Cup.
However, Henry knows France have the potential to be one of the most thrilling sides in world rugby and is not taking their threat lightly.
He said: “Although they didn’t play particularly well in their semi final, we know they’ve got the ability to play outstandingly, and they have done that in the past.
“The French team can be the best in the world on their day.
“The All Blacks have had some great Test matches against the French during the last eight years.”
There have certainly been some brilliant games between the finalists in recent years, with the previous five tests seeing France win two – including their 2007 World Cup quarter final – and New Zealand winning three.
However, the All Blacks have won all of the previous three encounters by an average of 17 points which makes backing New Zealand to win with a -16 point handicap look extremely tempting at 10/11.