24 Sep 2011

France captain hopes to upset McCaw's celebrations

1:32 pm on 24 September 2011

The France captain Thierry Dusautoir says he has the utmost respect for his All Black counterpart Richie McCaw but still plans to wreck celebrations for the flanker's 100th Test cap.

McCaw, who has been voted world player of the year three times, will be the first All Black to reach the milestone when the World Cup hosts play the French in a pivotal Pool A encounter at Eden Park.

Dusautoir says McCaw has been the best flanker in the world for 10 years and despite having played international interantional rugby for a year more than McCaw, he's registerd only half the number of Test caps.

Dusautoir says the World Cup match in Cardiff in 2007 when France eliminated the All Blacks in the quarter-finals was one of the toughest he had ever played in and expected a similar standard at Eden Park, a ground where the All Blacks have not lost since the French triumphed in 1994.

With the losers of Saturday's match likely to end up in the weaker half of the draw for the knockout stages, the French have been accused of putting out a weakened side for the highly anticipated match.

But coach Marc Lievremont, who has handed a first start at first five to halfback Morgan Parra, unsurprisingly dismissed the allegation.