The poster is a dream. France and New Zealand will kick off the Rugby World Cup on Friday 8 September at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. that it “The most beautiful opening match in the history of the Rugby World Cup,” A columnist from New Zealand online media Stuff judges. “A wonderful challenge.” All Blacks center David Havili said Monday in a news conference.
The word is not chosen randomly. The French team is scary, even for three-time world champions. First, because the Blues are playing at home. 'There is a lot of public support'“, admits New Zealand Herald sports journalist Liam Napier, who is currently following the All Blacks at their base camp on the Rhône, inside the Lyon Olympic University (LOU) sports complex. Outside, the noisy atmosphere of the French stadiums is sometimes criticized . “We have to communicate well on the pitch and the noise means we may not hear each other when we are exchanging.”David Havili added.
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Then because France beat New Zealand in the last match between the two teams. In November 2021, the Blues punished the All Blacks 40 to 25 and ended a run of fifteen defeats to the New Zealanders. “We still have it in our throats.”defense coach Scott McLeod admitted Monday.
“There is great respect for France.”
Over the course of four years, New Zealand has experienced a series of ups and downs. Liam Napier makes special mention of the group “Coach changes” And the “Fan criticism”. Above all, the All Blacks start competing next “The worst defeat in their history”According to the journalist, against South Africa in a preparatory match on August 25th. Pain score: 35 to 7. “It was inaccurate and ill-disciplined.”denounces David Kirk, the sports columnist who captained the victorious All Blacks team in 1987, In the New Zealand Herald.
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So New Zealand, who are weak, will have to face a formidable French team. Winners of the 2022 Six Nations, the Blues won three of their four warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup. “France is without a doubt one of the best teams in the world.”confirms Liam Napier, quoting captain and scrum-half Antoine Dupont, “An exceptional player”. “There is a lot of respect for France from the All Blacks and the New Zealanders,” he added. The journalist adds.
So, the team is training hard, in light of the heat wave hitting France. Given their physical preparation, the All Blacks don't really benefit from their stay in the Gaul capital. Unlike the flock of New Zealand journalists who chose to embrace the French way of life. Jimmy Wall, journalist On Radio New ZealandEnjoying his moments in Lyon, “The gastronomic capital of France” or “There is so much to do, see and above all eat,” He shared with his compatriots the pleasure of dinner “Very abundant” In traffic jams, Lyon's traditional restaurants are washed down with bottles of wine from the surrounding area.
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With the wounded, “France is more at risk”
In the middle of the Pacific, we follow the news of the 15th from France minute by minute. “The good news for the All Blacks is that France are more vulnerable. They won't have Romain Ntamack, Cyril Bailly, Jonathan Dante or Paul Willemse in this game. He writes online media stuff. On Radio New ZealandWe are pleased with the controversy surrounding Bastien Chalauroux, Montpellier's second line who was called up to replace Paul Willemse when he was convicted in 2020 of racist assault.
“It was very surprising to see him back in the team, and the controversy could destabilize the French. But every World Cup has its share of controversy, and this is nothing new.” Comments by Liam Napier. The New Zealand sports journalist also recalls that the All Blacks also had their share of injuries. Among them is Jordie Barrett, one of the team's stars. “Jordie Barrett's questionable availability and performance in the opener will go a long way in determining New Zealand's progress in the World Cup.”we can read on the Stuff website.
Rugby World Cup: Blues defeat French
This Friday evening Liam Napier Betting on France winning. “I think the All Blacks will show things in the rest of the competition. But beating France in the opening match will be difficult.”“, admits the journalist. However, on Radio New Zealand, it is impossible to imagine defeat: “The All Blacks are the only team who have never lost a World Cup group stage match, and they certainly don't want to start now. »
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