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Philippe Saint-Andre wants French 'uprising' to shock All Blacks

Published 15/10/2015

Morgan Parra, with ball, has been backed to marshal France's forwards in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final with New Zealand
Morgan Parra, with ball, has been backed to marshal France's forwards in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final with New Zealand

Morgan Parra can spark a revolution among France's forwards to inflict a second quarter-final defeat on New Zealand in Cardiff in eight years, according to Philippe Saint-Andre.

France boss Saint-Andre defended dropping trusted half-back Sebastien Tillous-Borde in favour of Parra by accepting his pack need to be bossed about after their feeble showing in 24-9 defeat to Ireland.

Les Bleus stunned New Zealand 20-18 in Cardiff in 2007, with Saint-Andre admitting only a return to classic French free-running rugby will afford the chance of a repeat.

Saint-Andre confirmed he had promoted Alexandre Dumoulin ahead of Mathieu Bastareaud into the centres as part of that bid to boost his side's front-foot fluency.

"If there's not an uprising for this match, you must change sport," said Saint-Andre.

"If we want to beat New Zealand, we will have to play the French way.

"We're getting ready for a massive battle.

"We know we'll have to improve our up-front game and take more individual initiatives.

"It hasn't been a mistake to back Tillous-Borde so far.

"But Parra is a very strong competitor, he's having a great World Cup and I've decided to start him because we all know his leadership qualities when it comes to the forwards.

"Alexandre Dumoulin is a player who is really very capable of keeping the ball alive.

"He's also well capable of positioning himself appropriately and defending very well."

France captain Thierry Dusautoir tackled himself and New Zealand to a standstill in that 2007 quarter-final, setting a World Cup record with 38 hits.

Saint-Andre believes the evergreen back-rower is ready for another Herculean effort - but also revealed he had selected Bernard Le Roux ahead of Damien Chouly to combat the constant threat from Richie McCaw.

Breakdown specialist McCaw will win his 146th cap for New Zealand on Saturday night, with Saint-Andre well aware France must nullify his abilities over the ball.

"I expect him to bring greater impact and be the first player clearing out rucks out so we can keep the ball," said Saint-Andre.

"It's to play in games like this that we've been training since childhood.

"New Zealand never lose, but sometimes you manage to beat them."

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