All Black's season will be judged on France game - Lomu

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - New Zealand’s season will be judged purely on Saturday’s showdown against France, former All Black winger Jonah Lomu said on Friday.

“You can forget the Tri-Nations and everything else, this season will be judged on this game,” the 34-year-old told Reuters TV.

“It is do or die... it will be a physical game, but it will be a mental game more than anything else.”

New Zealand regained the number one world ranking spot from world champions South Africa earlier this month after they beat Italy and France saw off the Springboks.

Although France are unbeaten in their November tests and they won against the All Blacks in Dunedin in June, Lomu was unsure which French team would take to the field in Marseille.

“If there is one team that you cannot predict then it is the French, but that is part and parcel of what rugby is all about.

“The French will be going in as favourites, especially with their last few results.”

Lomu played 63 tests for New Zealand between 1994 and 2002 before his career was cut short by kidney disease.

He made a low-key return to the sport last weekend for French semi-professional side Marseille-Vitrolles with whom he has a two-year contract.

Lomu was in no doubt over who he would be supporting on Saturday despite moving to France earlier this year.

“All the best to both of them, but I am a through and through All Black supporter,” he said.

Writing by Tom Pilcher in London, Editing by Alison Wildey