Weepu keeping a clear head

All Blacks star says relaxation is key

Last Updated: 22/10/11 9:59am

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Weepu: Wants to stay relaxed

Weepu: Wants to stay relaxed

Sky Bet

New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu says they must stay relaxed ahead of Sunday's World Cup final against France.

The All Blacks are bidding for their first world title since 1987 - when they beat Les Bleus at Eden Park - and the home nation is expectant after an unbeaten run which included a 37-17 win over Marc Lievremont's side.

"You try to get your preparation right through the week, so when you come to match day you can go out there with a clear head and just play your game," Weepu said.

"I think with occasions like this one, the more relaxed you stay, the less pressure you put on yourselves.

"I am pretty sure the boys get excited by moments like this.

"As a little kid in the backyard you dream of playing for your country and scoring the winning try or taking the winning kick. Moments like these are moments you don't want to forget.

"Everyone can't wait to wake up on game day and feel the buzz that is in the air and excitement around town.

"You can feel the energy. You go down to breakfast and look on the faces of the boys and you can see the excitement on their faces."

Strong record

France, despite their underdog status, hold a strong record against the All Blacks in New Zealand, having beaten them four times since 1979.

And they can also reflect on two significant World Cup victories over their next opponents.

France were victorious in a pulsating semi-final at Twickenham 12 years ago, overcoming a sizeable deficit to triumph 43-31, then won at the quarter-final stage in 2007, claiming a 20-18 verdict in Cardiff.

"You have to expect the unexpected with them," Weepu added.

"On their day they can play the best rugby of their lives, and this is the opportunity for them to do that.

"They can be quite dangerous, so we are definitely not taking them too lightly and we know it is going to be a pretty physical encounter."

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