Test challenge

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The Independent Online
Test challenge

THE REASON that France gets away with testing in the South Pacific is that for over a hundred years it has never taken the slightest notice of the owners of the neighbourhood - the few hundred thousand Polynesians who live there.

Being without power of any kind, Polynesians, very simply, do not count. This should change, temporarily at least, if France lines up against the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup final, and 15 Frenchmen glance apprehensively at the giant Tongan winger, Jonah Lomu. Jonah, we are told, goes down on his knees before every game and prays that no one will be hurt.

Perhaps before a match with the nation preparing to irradiate his ancestral provenance, he will do so with less conviction than usual.