Thierry Dusautoir will lead France in the final

The French Rugby squad took the heat off their Rugby World Cup 2011 finals build-up with a relaxed day out in Auckland.

The players and management enjoyed a typical Kiwi barbeque lunch at the waterside Riverhead Tavern and a thrilling jet-boat ride on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

While experiencing a high-speed blast and sweeping turns the group made the most of their day off from training ahead of their penultimate match against the All Blacks this Saturday 23 October.

Fast-footed half-back Dimitri Yachvili says it was a great way to spend their day.

“Obviously we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us this weekend but the feeling amongst the team is good. It’s nice to spend an afternoon together to re-focus,” he says.

The French team has been based in Auckland for the majority of their Tournament.

Coach Marc Lievremont says they’ve enjoyed their time in New Zealand’s largest city.

“It’s important for us to do activities as a team off the field, and today has been fantastic. Auckland has been an excellent base for the squad,” he says.

Nestled on the shores of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour the Riverhead Tavern is New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern and a popular destination for dining.

Auckland Jet Boat Tours is based in the Viaduct Harbour and runs daily adventure trips that combine high-speed thrills with exhilarating speeds of 85 kilometres per hour.

Getting out on the water is one of Auckland’s must-do tourism activities. Auckland is affectionately known as the City of Sails and has the highest boat ownership per capita in the world.

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