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France coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Sunday called on his side to "transcend themselves" when they tour New Zealand next month while admitting he did not have "utopian" expectations after recent poor results including a disappointing Six Nations.
"You have to take defeats on board and I totally assume (responsibility)," said Saint-Andre, who will unveil his squad on Tuesday.
"Even if we weren't far off (a result) in all these matches it was not enough - there is too much missing in too many areas... We must work on our game, our system."
France won just one game in the Six Nations as they ended bottom of the heap and even lost to Italy.
But Saint-Andre said "this difficult period must serve to strengthen us".
Calling for more discipline and self-analysis, he added: "Three and a half weeks in New Zealand will be interesting to see how the group does.
"We have the fortune to go and visit the world champions and to go to New Zealand is always something exceptional. We shall have to show great solidarity at the end of the season to go toe to toe with the creme de la creme.
"Many experts think not," he admitted when asked if observers felt the French could beat their exalted rivals.
"But the players have the desire to transcend themselves and give everything."
"We must go there with joy and enthusiasm and huge desire," he concluded.