The French Rugby team swapped running drills for relaxation ahead of their Rugby World Cup Quarter Final clash this weekend with a day on Auckland’s Waiheke Island.

The 30-man squad and management team took time out from training to explore the picturesque Island of Wine which is located 30 minutes from downtown Auckland.

“Waiheke has a special vibe – it’s a surprisingly beautiful place and was fun to look around for an afternoon. It’s hard to believe it’s such a short distance from a big city,” says French captain Thierry Dusautoir who says the visit to Waiheke was a great way to unwind ahead of their must-win match against England this Saturday.

While the England team have been nothing short of a disgrace with their antics of late, the French were out to prove they have the class, sopistication and style which it seems is all too lacking in their British counterparts.

The team enjoyed a hearty lunch at popular Stonyridge Vineyard before the afternoon was topped-off with a competitive round of archery and laser claybird shooting amongst the grape vines at Wild on Waiheke.

Scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili says it was a great way to spend an afternoon away from the field.“The boys always love a bit of competition and this was so much fun and really different being in amongst the vines,” he says.

Waiheke Island sits amongst 50 islands in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf and is renowned for its quality vineyards, olive groves and sheltered beaches.

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