Former All Blacks scrumhalf Byron Kelleher has insisted Saturday's crunch World Cup clash between New Zealand and bogey side France will be more than a game, but rather a battle for national honour.
The All Blacks' demoralising defeats to the French at the 1999 and 2007 World Cups has left some mental scares for the New Zealanders, who can be forgiven for thoughts of 'oh dear, here we go again' should they fall behind on the scoreboard.
"France is our bogey team at the World Cup," Kelleher said.
"This weekend, it's not rugby business for the All Blacks but a question of defending our land," added 34-year-old Kelleher, now playing out the twilight of his career with French club Stade Francais.
"In New Zealand, the land is crucial. It's in the spirit of the All Blacks, it's the Maori culture. This will be the motivation as will the Christchurch earthquake, out of respect for those who died."
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