Medard promises full-throttle France when it comes to Le Crunch

Full-back says Les Bleus will "dig deep" against traditional rivals despite the path for the winner leading to a likely semi-final showdown against New Zealand.

KUMAMOTO, 9 Oct - Maxime Medard has vowed that France will be at their best for Le Crunch, their clash against England on Saturday at the International Stadium Yokohama, which will decide who tops Pool C.

There have been mischievous suggestions from either side of the English Channel that losing would be the preferred option as winning would put the victor on course for a potential semi-final against defending champions and world No.1 side New Zealand.

The full-back admits that England are "two or three levels above us", but is in no doubt that he and his team-mates will give everything to the cause.

"We have to do all we can to put our game in place, do some good things and build confidence ahead of the quarter-final," said Medard, pictured above.

"We have no preference over who we play next, there is no choice. We're not going to throw the match. We are in an important competition. We will dig deep to win."

Medard is one of the survivors from the last time the old rivals met at a World Cup. He started at full-back and scored a first-half try as Les Bleus won 19-12 in the 2011 quarter-finals at Eden Park in Auckland.

This time they are likely to face either Australia or Wales in the quarter-finals.

Jacques Brunel’s team last met the Wallabies in 2016 when they lost 25-23, while memories are still fresh from their second-half collapse to Wales in Paris in February when Warren Gatland’s players were 16-0 down at half-time but recovered to win 24-19.

"Wales or Australia, it won't change a thing," Medard said. "They are both better than us. They are more consistent than we are.

"We have won, with a little difficulty, but we won and that's what's important. But there are a lot of teams today who show more consistency than we do.

"But in any match, in any competition, we are capable of playing well enough to win."

RNS ji/sg/djk