Crockett braced for France battle

Wyatt Crockett is expecting "the very best" from France this weekend and knows New Zealand will have to raise their game in Paris. 

Les Bleus gave the world champions a major examination in their final Test of 2016, the All Blacks winning 24-19 despite being on the back foot for long periods.

New Zealand prop Crockett is expecting more of the same at Stade de France on Saturday and said the forwards are relishing the challenge.

"We know that the French always love that scrum battle. It's a big part of their club rugby scene over here and international mindset, to win that scrum battle," Crockett commented.

"They're passionate and physical in the way they play so we'll definitely have to be sure to step things up.

"Last year was a massive test, it went right down to the wire and we had to really dig right down to our depths to try and win that Test match.

"The French on their day will beat anyone so we definitely expect the very best from them this week."

Sam Whitelock echoed Crockett's sentiments, saying the All Blacks have learned from the encounter in 2016.

"If you look back to last year when we last played them, the physical battle was massive and went right through the whole 80 minutes," said the experienced lock.

"Right at the end of the game we were on our own line for a number of phases which is a place we didn't want to be. We've taken the learnings from that and hopefully can sort a few of those things out going forward."

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