The head coach of New Zealand's Rugby World Cup squad played down expectations of a certain victory against a struggling French side when the two sides meet in the quarter-finals on 17 October.

"Everyone's really excited, I mean you've just got to come here, all of a sudden we've got a few extra people here you know. So the atmosphere's growing and it's the time of the tournament where the big boys have got to stand up don't they, or you go home. So we're looking forward to that challenge and I'm sure France are too," Steve Hansen said in a news conference.

Hansen said his team are not considering French form going into the match because Les Bleus have a track record of performing well when it counts. "We'll be expecting them to come out and play with flair and physicality on Saturday but, as I said, the relationship's been great and there's always been some days when you just wonder who's turned up but most of the time they turn up and when it's a big occasion they always turn up, and we have to turn up with them. So we're really looking forward to it, our guys love a challenge and we know there's not many bigger challenges than playing France," he said.

Hansen said fans back home shouldn't worry about the form of certain players in the team. "Firstly, I can understand why there's a bit of concern at home, because they're at home and they're not here. So they don't know everything that we've been doing and they'll be a little apprehensive about a few things I guess 'cause they don't have any control over it, and when you don't have any control over something your tendency as a human being is to worry.

"But worry is a waste of emotion, if you're worrying about something that hasn't happened, plan for it and have a plan if it does, if it's already happened then you'd better have a plan of how you're gonna fix it," he said.

The All Blacks are top of the world rankings and seen by many as favourites to clinch their third World Cup title to break free from Australia and South Africa, who also have two world titles each to their name. New Zealand have scored a total of 25 tries so far in this tournament, the most of any team. But are behind Argentina and South Africa in terms of total points scored.