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Battle of the northern hemisphere

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Battle of the northern hemisphere

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France have been training hard ahead of their Rugby World Cup semi-final clash with Wales on Saturday in Auckland.
 
Coach Marc Lievremont has stuck with the starting team that beat England in the quarter-finals.
 
But having continually got the better of Wales in recent years Lievremont fears complacency within his ranks.
 
He said: “In three years we have beaten the Welsh three times and if we have this fact in our minds going into the game we will lose. So we have to find a way of motivating ourselves before facing a Welsh team, who I find have made quite an impression since the start of the competition.”
 
In the other camp Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards brushed aside suggestions the inconsistent French may have played their one and only big match during the tournament in their win over England.
 
Edwards said: “I’ve heard their coach say that have to overcome the obstacle of only having one big performance in them. I have heard the coach say that a few times. But if you look at France in the Six Nations over the last five or six years they are the team that have won it the most.”
 
Wales last reached this stage of the competition in its debut year in 1987. France, meanwhile, are old hands at World Cup semi-final contests and will appear for the fifth consecutive time.
 
The pair square off at Eden Park on Saturday.