Laporte braces for Blackout

France coach Bernard has Laporte warned that New Zealand were still a class apart from the rest of the world.

He said that despite his side being in a strong position to capture the Six Nations title, success should not be seen as indicative of how they’ll fare against the All Blacks.

“If you look at the Six Nations tournament and then the All Blacks there is clearly a difference,” Laporte said. There are the All Blacks and then another four or five teams below them.

“We are on our way to winning the tournament and we are hoping to rediscover our dynamism with a great match against Scotland. But that will not make us World Cup favourites.”

Laporte’s charges were woeful in their 26-18 defeat to England on Sunday. He attributed this to two factors, but was adamant that the loss wouldn’t hinder them form retaining their title.

“Competition [for World Cup selection] is one parameter among others to explain our defeat as is fear in a crucial match on our way to a possible grand slam,” he added.

“Despite everything I have said we are on course to win the tournament and now it just depends on us. We will wait until we have seen the match again on video before announcing our 22 [for the Scotland game on March 17] on Tuesday morning.

“But from what we have already seen, we will not make numerous changes.”