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France's World Cup path hinges on Wallabies result


Baptiste Pace

France head hoach Philippe Saint-Andre.

France head hoach Philippe Saint-Andre. Photo: Getty Images

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has sent an early warning to the Wallabies, saying victory over them in November is key to his team's 2015 World Cup seeding.

Despite finishing a desperately close runner-up to champions New Zealand in last year's World Cup, France are fifth in the IRB world rankings while Australia are No.2.

The World Cup draw will be held in December and France coach Saint-Andre is determined to have his team ranked in the top four by then to guarantee a top seeding in one of the four World Cup pools.

To achieve that he has set his team the task of winning all three of their Tests in the November international window.

The 45-year-old Saint-Andre -- who replaced Marc Lievremont after France's 8-7 defeat by the All Blacks in the 2011 World Cup final -- will not have an easy task in achieving that as the French host Australia, who they have not beaten since 2004, in Paris on November 10, then bogey team Argentina a week later on November 17.

Their final fixture comes against Samoa a week after that.

"These are three important tests: Australia who are a bit of a bete noire for France, Argentina will be as well prepared as ever before because they will have been together for four months and the Samoans," said Saint-Andre.

"We have the time, with the Four Nations, to prepare well for the Australians and the Argentinians.

"We are fifth in the IRB rankings, just behind the English.

"The World Cup draw is December 3 and the target is to be a seed."

Saint-Andre said France would have to avoid playing into Australia's hands if they were to end their winless streak against them -- their last meeting under Lievremont ending with a 59-16 walloping at the Stade de France in 2010.

"It is a team that every time they play France tries to play at a ruthless rhythm and to keep the ball," he said.

"Their objective is to wear you out physically. If you are not well-placed defensively, and you don't impose yourselves combatively and slow down their delivery of the ball, they are capable of scoring 40 points in a quarter of an hour."

Saint-Andre, said that Argentina were an even more formidable foe now they were playing in the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship and, in his eyes, had overtaken France as a rugby force.

"Argentina are better than just a good side," he said.

"They drew with South Africa at home in their first Four Nations clash when they deserved to win.

"In New Zealand (against the All Blacks last weekend), until the yellow card, they were holding their own.

"Argentina will progress, they have prepared for the Four Nations as if it were the World Cup.

"That is our problem: our players do not have time for such a phase of development.

"After a month of holidays, they (Argentina) went straight into a series of friendly matches etc ... The Argentinians have adapted to international rugby in the professional era and in its organisation, they have overtaken France in that domain."


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Tonga 2 1 1 0 7 6
Argentina 2 1 1 0 35 5
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Ireland 2 2 0 0 77 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 -17 4
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
View all

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