France – New Zealand: The Blues are “scary” and “among the favorites” declares former Sonny Bill Williams

France – New Zealand: The Blues are “scary” and “among the favorites” declares former Sonny Bill Williams

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Nearly 48 hours before the World Cup between the French and New Zealanders, former All Blacks player Sonny Bill Williams spoke about the French XV and its captain, Antoine Dupont.

The Blues are one of the favourites for the 2023 World Cup because the young players in the French squad “are not afraid,” former New Zealand midfielder Sonny Bill Williams said ahead of Friday’s opening match. Williams, who retired after the 2019 World Cup, explained that the French team won the last three editions of the Under-20 World Cup, and “the young players who are not afraid and who make it (to the first team) represent France.”

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“That’s why they’re scary, that’s why in my opinion they’re among the favourites,” he said, adding Ireland to the list of contenders for the world title. The former 13th man, who came to rugby union while playing in France, at RC Toulon, and a two-time World Cup winner in 2011 and 2015, has also tried his hand at boxing and compares French captain Antoine Dupont to former mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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“He's a special player,” said the 15th French scrum-half. “He had the same childhood as Habib, natural physicality thanks to his youth in the fresh air” in the Pyrenees. “I like his physicality very much,” added Williams. “He's a symbol of those young Frenchmen who are scary and are products of the French system,” the 38-year-old former international explained.

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