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Clerc relishing 'dream' showdown

France wing Vincent Clerc insists that Sunday's showdown with host nation New Zealand is "a dream final" for Les Bleus.

Clerc and company are rank outsiders to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy having already lost to the All Blacks - and then Tonga - in the pool phase, while a 9-8 semi-final victory over 14-man Wales did little to suggest they will remotely threaten the tournament hosts.

France, though, have won two of five previous World Cup clashes against the All Blacks, knocking them out in 1999 and 2007, and Clerc said: "We understand all too well why the All Blacks are favoured. They are playing at home, and they will have a stadium jam-packed with New Zealanders. But we have not played the match yet, they are not world champions yet."

He added: "I do not feel I am in the skin of a future loser, someone who can't win. That is not how I feel at all.

"We are in the final and it does not matter what happened before. It is what happens now that counts.

"They [New Zealand] have their reasons for being confident. They have put in some great performances, and now maybe it is our turn to play our cards.

"We are capable of playing the match we need to play, and we are capable of beating the All Blacks."


From Belfast Telegraph