If France lose Sunday's World Cup final against hosts New Zealand, team manager Jo Maso will undoubtedly be disappointed.
But he may cope with the pain of any defeat rather better than some of his compatriots, such is his fondness for the All Blacks.
Maso, a former Test centre and flyhalf, was a member of the France team that toured New Zealand back in 1968.
The All Blacks completed a 3-0 Test series clean sweep - with 12-9, 9-3 and 19-12 victories, the last at Auckland's Eden Park, the venue for this year's World Cup Final.
But the way that French team played, running the ball from unusual angles, made a huge impact on New Zealand players and fans alike, with the visitors being applauded off the field by an appreciative home crowd after the final whistle at Eden Park.
All Black great Colin Meads, who played in that series, reckoned the 1968 France team were the unluckiest side ever to come to New Zealand and not win a Test match.
Meanwhile, New Zealand scrumhalf Sid Going, who scored two tries in the Eden Park encounter, said: "They [France] were on top throughout the second spell and if we had played any longer, they would have won.
"Maso was magnificent, so dangerous. I remember him coming at us once and Earle Kirton shouting 'Mine! Mine!' A second later as Maso altered course and accelerated into a gap Kirton, with far more urgency, screamed 'Yours! Yours!'."
For Maso the memories, both on and off the field, remain vivid even more than 40 years on.
"We drank beer together, we ate together, we partied together. We were invited to people's homes for lunch, dinner," he told the New Zealand Herald last month.
"The French, oh, oh, we were exotic," Maso joked.
Although New Zealand have had the upper hand overall against France, winning 37 Tests compared to Les Bleus' 12 and one draw in 50 meetings, the French have had their moments, notwithstanding a defeat in the inaugural 1987 World Cup Final and last month's 17-37 pool stage loss in this tournament.
They were the last visiting team to win at Eden Park, scoring the stunning 'try from the end of the world' to snatch a 23-20 victory in 1994, and knocked the highly-fancied All Blacks out of both the 1999 and 2007 World Cups.
Not that Maso wanted to crow over those latter two wins against New Zealand.
"They are the reference point for world rugby," Maso said. "The image of the All Blacks is a beautiful image for all.
"Sometimes I have regrets for beating the All Blacks.
"I went into their dressing room [in 1999] to shake hands with the manager and I never saw such a sad or disappointed room in my entire life. Terrible, terrible.
"We're very proud of beating them but at the same time we're sad. I want to cheer them up and be happy at the same time. It's a very strange feeling."
This week Maso 'cheered up' New Zealand by agreeing the All Blacks should wear their traditional kit, and France change from blue to white, for the Final even though he'd won the toss for choice of colours.
Maso, explaining his decision, said it was a mark of French respect for the "welcome they'd received from the people of New Zealand, the faultless organisation of the tournament and the honour and pleasure of playing the 2011 World Cup final in the legendary stadium of Eden Park".
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