Struggling Les Bleus on a mission to beat Springboks
Paris — After a miserable 2018 and on the back of a 3-0 drubbing in New Zealand in June, France know exactly what they need to do against SA on Saturday.
"We have to win," said back row forward Artur Iturria who is expected to start against the Boks in Paris.
"We have very good players and a good system. If we bring all the ingredients together at the same time I don’t see why we cannot rival the best teams in the world. I hope that will be the case on Saturday evening."
It is fighting talk from the Clermont forward whose last taste of Test rugby ended with a Six Nations defeat against Scotland in February.
Since Jacques Brunel took over as coach in December 2017, Les Bleus have played eight Tests, winning just two in the Six Nations. With three Tests to come — against the Springboks, Argentina and Fiji — they have the chance to rewrite the end-of-year reviews.
"To start off again with a win would be huge for the squad, the staff, for everyone," said experienced wing Yoann Huget who was recalled as cover for the injured Wesley Fofana.
"It would create real enthusiasm. We need to validate the work we have put in over the past year by beating a major nation," Huget said.
Huget also sees it as the start point for the 2019 World Cup in Japan next September.
"We have to win in order to kick off our [autumn Test] campaign and to launch our World Cup. We want to arrive [in Japan] with confidence."