10:54 am on 31 August 2011

France have been involved in some memorable Rugby World Cup matches - three against New Zealand come to mind.

A French side made up of many greats of the game was beaten by the All Blacks 29-9 in the inaugural final at Eden Park in 1987.

In 1999 the French came from behind to beat the All Blacks in the semi-finals and four years ago they upset the All Blacks in the quarter-finals in Cardiff.

They have reached the quarter-finals at every tournament and made the World Cup final twice, but are yet to taste success.

France are the third-highest World Cup points scorers of all time and are also the third-highest try scorers.

Toulouse flanker Thierry Dusautoir will skipper the side that does not include fans' favourite Sebastien Chabal, who has been out of favour since the last Six Nations tournament.

Coach Mark Lievremont will be in charge of his first World Cup campaign and will be looking for an uncompromising forward effort with flair and speed in the backline.

France play in New Zealand's group and while they have had success over the All Blacks in World Cup matches, they have not had the same sort of success in New Zealand.

France have won only four of their 22 matches in New Zealand. The last was in 2009.

They open their World Cup campaign against Japan, before taking on Canada, New Zealand and Tonga and should be expected to make it through to the quarter-finals where they could meet England.