1 Jun 2013

French using NZ tour to grow depth

9:56 am on 1 June 2013

The French rugby team will be focused on player development throughout their upcoming tour of New Zealand.

The 35-man squad touched down in Auckland yesterday ahead of their three Test series against the All Blacks and a one-off clash against the Blues.

Eight uncapped players are included in the touring party and they are missing playmakers Francois Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra, who have been rested.

The coach, Phillippe St Andre, says they are using this tour to build for the World Cup in two years' time, and to find some new talent.

St Andre says everyone knows they lost the 2011 World Cup final at Eden Park, where his side's first challenge will be next Saturday, and it'll be interesting how his team responds.

The All Blacks have not lost at Eden Park since they played France there back in 1994.