THREE FRENCH PLAYERS TO WATCH
1 Antoine Dupont
Dupont was only 20 when he made his debut against the All Blacks last year in Paris and he was quite superb.
There were fears in France that he was too inexperienced to cope with the occasion, but he was one of their best players and troubled the All Blacks with his pace, vision and decision-making.
The French typically see their No 9 as their play-making general and Dupont, with a few more tests under his belt now, could well be the man France ask to lead them tactically in June.
2 Teddy Thomas
The slender but dynamic wing showed up well in Paris last year when he was able to score a first half try and then become a greater threat in the second half.
Thomas continued his good form throughout the Six Nations and he seems capable of scoring tries when there doesn’t appear to be much on.
It’s a genuine and important skill because the French, even now, remain a side that plays off emotion more often than not and a spectacular solo try can often spark them into life.
3 Rabah Slimani
This versatile prop has earned rave reviews in Europe. He’s strong, phenomenally strong apparently and rarely, if ever, will you see him on his knees or even off his feet at any scrum.
He can play both sides but prefers the tighthead where he can be disruptive and difficult to subdue.
He is thought to be one of the highest paid players in the world and the French will expect him to attack an All Blacks scrum that might not be as strong as usual given the lack of game time of Joe Moody and lack of experience within the other loosehead options.