Rugby World Cup 'We are contenders' - France centre Gael Fickou

France centre Gael Fickou insists his team are contenders at the Rugby World Cup despite being written off.

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'We are contenders' - France centre Gael Fickou play

'We are contenders' - France centre Gael Fickou

(Omni Sports)
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France centre Gael Fickou insists his team are contenders at the Rugby World Cup despite being written off.

The Europeans are three-time runners-up, including losing the 2011 decider to New Zealand in Auckland.

Fickou believes Philippe Saint-Andre's men deserve to be considered among the favourites for the title.

"It's true that we don't make noise. Everyone thinks that we don't have the quality. We know that we are contenders," he said.

"We have the talent to be able to compete in this World Cup. I think we have a full squad. In addition, we are united, we get along well. We take pleasure in being together.

"The results have not been very positive in recent years but I think we should move on.

"Now, there is this adventure we were waiting for three years. Don't put pressure. You have to go slowly and serenely with the aim of being the strongest possible during this World Cup."

France will take on Ireland, Italy, Canada and Romania in Pool D at the tournament, which begins on September 18.

Fly-half Frederic Michalak said he was enjoying the tough preparation.

"These are the first three days, three intense days. This is only the beginning. We all start to have body aches. We are tired but it makes sense," he said.

"The staff and physical trainers still prepared us good sessions. It will be challenging, physically difficult. We try to enjoy the little moments of rest.

"It is the pleasure in suffering. It is a pleasure because we are all there to play the World Cup. This is of course a great pleasure."

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