Rugby Union: France ready for backlash: All Blacks defend proud record

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FRANCE go in search of a historic first series win in New Zealand tomorrow while bracing themselves for a strong performance by the All Blacks.

Last Sunday's surprise 22-8 first Test victory in Christchurch was only their second ever in New Zealand. A series win would be their first against the All Blacks - home or away - and the first New Zealand loss at home since the Australian tour of 1986. But Guy Laporte, the French manager, said: 'They have their backs to the wall - we know how it feels because we have been in the situation more times than the All Blacks.'

Philippe Sella, who played his 100th Test last weekend, said: 'I know it will be hell because they're proud of their rugby, their religion.'

Laurie Mains, the New Zealand coach, has made two changes, with Stephen Bachop, of Otago, replacing stand-off Simon Mannix - who fumbled several times under pressure in the first Test - and Arran Pene, the No 8, making way for the experienced Zinzan Brooke.

FRANCE: J-L Sadourny; E Ntamack, P Sella, P Saint-Andre (capt), T Lacroix; C Deylaud, G Accoceberry; C Califano, J-M Gonzalez, L Benezech, O Roumat, O Merle, A Benazzi, L Cabannes, P Benetton.

NEW ZEALAND: J Timu; J Kirwan, F Bunce, J Lomu, M Cooper; S Bachop, S Forster; R Loe, S Fitzpatrick (capt), O Brown, M Cooksley, B Larsen, I Jones, M Brewer, Z Brooke.