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France prepare for stern Kiwi test

France prepare for stern Kiwi test
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France play hosts New Zealand on Saturday in a game which should decide the winner of Pool A.

Captain Thierry Dusautoir returns to the side after missing the win over Canada while scrumhalf Morgan Parra has been handed a rare start at flyhalf following an impressive kicking display last time out.

Coach Marc Lievremont said: ‘‘To play a match against the All Blacks at Eden Park is a really big event, no matter what the tournament. It’s an important game.”

Two days before that game Tonga and Japan square up in Whangarei with both teams looking for their first win this edition.

Fiji take on Samoa on Sunday as both teams look to bounce back from second Pool D defeats against champions South Africa and Wales respectively.

A win for either side would keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the last eight.

“It’s such a crucial game in the whole scheme of things,’‘ said Fiji skipper Deacon Manu.

‘‘We’ve both won a game and we’ve lost a game so this is going to be an integral part of where we want to be in terms of a quarter final spot.”

Pool D leaders South Africa face Namibia in Auckland on Thursday in what should be a straightforward affair for the Springboks as they look to maintain their unbeaten run so far.

Coming up in Pool B over the weekend – England face a potentially bruising encounter against Romania in Dunedin on Saturday while the following day Argentina face Scotland in Wellington.