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Rugby World Cup: France shaping up well, warns flanker Bernard Le Roux ahead of Ireland clash

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

As a man who once traded blows with Johnny Sexton on the Racing Metro training field, France flanker Bernard Le Roux is clearly not afraid to give his opinion.

The naturalised South African believes his side have generated a togetherness through training that will stand to them in the weeks to come and warned Ireland that they didn't cross the channel to be second best.

Philippe Saint-Andre's team have not been overly impressive in their first two games, but they have accumulated nine points and, after playing Canada tomorrow, will have nine days to prepare for the Pool D decider at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday week.

Will they be ready?

"Yeah, for the first time in a few years we've had a pre-season of two months and I feel the team is now quite on form, we've a really good vibe going," Le Roux said.

"So, I'm looking forward to the last two games and hopefully qualifying.

"We're here to win the competition, we're not here to be second. We know Ireland's the biggest game in our pool, but we respect Canada and have to get past them first."

France coach Saint-Andre has always insisted that his side will be better when they have time to work together and Le Roux says they are feeling the benefit of a full pre-season as the tournament progresses.

"It's unbelievable, just having a pre-season. The Top 14 is so long, you get two weeks of pre-season and start playing again after June tours, and for the first time in three years we have been able to get our bodies in shape," he explained.

"Physically, we're the fittest we've ever been and we've a good team vibe going and we know each other. We're really enjoying it."

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