Follow live updates as France take on South Africa in Paris.

It took only a few training sessions with Heyneke Meyer for Yoann Maestri to realise what France is sorely lacking.

The lock, who wins his 63rd cap against South Africa, was instantly struck by the former Springboks coach's methods at Stade Francais.

"We're missing all of that, the intensity in training is incomparable. It's a question of how you work and your vision of rugby," Maestri said this week. "South Africa, but also Argentina, Ireland, have an intensity in their preparation which means that, during matches, they do things far more easily and quickly. They're able to resist under pressure far more comfortably."


Over the years, France has at times started games well — even against world champions New Zealand in June — but has usually finished them poorly.

France lost three Six Nations matches out of five. All those defeats were by six points or less, the team cracking near the end.

Then, in June, France caused the All Blacks considerable problems in the first half, before capitulating too easily. Overall, in three tests, Les Tricolores conceded 127 points despite spells of highly competitive rugby.

The newly confident Springboks will seek to punish France's wavering concentration at Stade de France.

"When I see the tries we score, a lot of teams can't do that. But paradoxically there are lots of basics we're not doing right," France captain Guilhem Guirado told sports daily L'Equipe. "We're not able to master the most simple things, the most efficient things. That's what we're trying to fix. At the highest level, concentration has to be maximal."

- AP