We're all Irishmen now, say French

29th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 September 2007, PARIS (AFP) - France flanker Julien Bonnaire has admitted that his team will become temporary Irish fans on Sunday as World Cup Pool D reaches a nerve-shredding finale.

29 September 2007

PARIS (AFP) - France flanker Julien Bonnaire has admitted that his team will become temporary Irish fans on Sunday as World Cup Pool D reaches a nerve-shredding finale.

The French take on Georgia in Marseille at 1200GMT where they are expected to pick-up a victory as well as a bonus point which will guarantee them a last eight place.

But they also want Ireland to defeat group leaders Argentina in Paris (1400GMT), a result which would give the French top spot and avoid the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.

"Of course we will be supporting Ireland," said Bonnaire.

"Ireland can win and have some exceptional players, especially Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy who are not at their best but it still might come.

"Ireland have to take advantage of the line-outs and Donnacha O'Callaghan and Paul O'Connell form one of the best second rows in the world."

If Argentina win, then France must travel to Cardiff to take on New Zealand for a semi-final place on October 6.  

"If we have to play the All Blacks, so be it," said Bonnaire.

"For one match, anything is possible. In any case at this level of competition we have to give everything in each match. But against the All Blacks, we will have to play the perfect match."

However, France, who lost their opening game to Argentina 17-12 before beating Namibia 87-10 and Ireland 25-3, are wary of the dangers posed by Georgia.

The Georgians gave Ireland a scare before losing 14-10 and then picked up their first World Cup win with a 30-0 defeat of Namibia.

"We have to be aggressive and combative because they are solid up front," said Bonnaire.

"They are hard to play and it's going to be difficult to move their pack. Saying that, they might be tired having played on Wednesday (against Namibia).

"We have to start at 100km an hour like we did against Namibia. We have enjoyed the last two matches and we have to keep that going."

AFP

Subject: French news

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