French coach Philippe Saint-Andre is demanding an improvement on what his team produced against the All Blacks in June, regardless of the injury issues confronting them.

The French play their first Test since the 3-0 loss on New Zealand soil five months ago when they host the All Blacks in Paris on Saturday.

Following the third Test in New Plymouth, Saint-Andre said he was satisfied with the tour considering the players had come directly off the tail end of a gruelling domestic season and struggled to come to terms with the officiating .

However, leading into home Tests against New Zealand, Tonga and South Africa, he is conscious that his world No.5-ranked can't keep treading water.

"We want to progress from what we were able to do in New Zealand," Saint-Andre said.

"The Tests last November yielded positive results for us. Beating Australia and Argentina was pretty good and this time round we are playing teams who are a level up from those.

"We are often good in November because the guys still have a lot of energy."

Saint-Andre says he can't afford to work his players hard this week, having pulled them together on Sunday, straight after the 11th round of matches from the French Top 14 club championship.

Recuperation and medical assessments will dominate the first part of their build-up.

Six players injured over the weekend are impressive second five-eighth Wesley Fofana (foot), first five-eighth duo Camille Lopez (ankle) and Remi Tales (nose), halfback Jonathan Pelissie (eye), flanker Yannick Nyanga (ear) and prop Vincent Debaty (illness).

Another four are recovering from earlier knocks, including influential No.8 Louis Picamoles (hip) and three leading backs - fullback Brice Dulin (knee), first five-eighth Frederic Michalak (shoulder) and halfback Maxime Machenaud (hand).

Saint-Andre says whatever team he names on Thursday will be given the same message as they bid to end a 13-year home drought against the All Blacks.

A 42-33 triumph at Marseille in 2000 was their only win against New Zealand on French soil since 1995.

"We need to show that sometimes statistics are worthless," he said.

"It is imperative we throw caution to the wind, play with a lot of aggression, be ultra-disciplined and be as bold as possible."

 

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