All Blacks: Well aware of France's unpredictability

Aaron Smith. Photo / Getty Images
Aaron Smith. Photo / Getty Images

The All Blacks insist there is zero chance they are underestimating France in the first test in Auckland tonight.

The last time the French won in New Zealand was in 2009, when their side was dubbed by many as a "C" team.

That sort of talk has halfback Aaron Smith on high alert.

"We know that there's always a bit of unpredictability about them because it's the French and they can do anything. This is my first time against the French and I'll have my bloody guns up ready to go."

The centenary celebrations of Eden Park provide the backdrop to the first All Black test of the year tonight.

The All Blacks have been victorious in eight of the ten encounters at the venue, including in the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cup finals.

Newstalk ZB rugby editor Nigel Yalden says the French have won just twice on the hallowed turf and while the 1979 performance was impressive, it will always be 1994 victory that is remembered most vividly.

He says that's because of "the try from the end of the world'' arguably the iconic moment in the battles between the two sides.

The try was started by then-wing now coach Phillipe Saint-Andre, who'll be looking for a similar spark tonight in order to spoil the centenary celebrations

A full house will pack into Eden Park for kickoff at 7:35pm.

- Newstalk ZB

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