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france vs new zealand 08 09 2023 sport preview

France vs New Zealand 08/09/2023

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France vs New Zealand, Friday 8th September 20:15

France will be aiming to get their World Cup off to the best possible start when they take on New Zealand at the Stade De France in Saint Denis on Friday night.

The hosts have been hampered by injuries in the build-up to the tournament, but with the home crowd behind they could have enough in the tank to see their way past New Zealand, in what is one of the most mouth-watering clashes of the group stages.

There shouldn’t be any serious threats to the dominance of France and New Zealand in the group, although Italy have shown signs of becoming a dark horse.

Victory in this opener will give either France or New Zealand a buffer against an Italian upset, and then the hard work will really start in what will be an incredibly tough quarter-final encounter later in the tournament.

These sides sport players who are among the favourites to finish the tournament as the top try-scorer.

France have Damian Penaud attracting a lot of smart money in that try-scorer market.

Meanwhile, All Blacks try machine Will Jordan would be the man most likely to benefit if New Zealand click.

Goalkickers Thomas Ramos and Richie Mo’unga have been steady off the tee and both will be in line for big points tallies at the end of the tournament.

Inspirational France skipper Antoine Dupont claims that this team is better prepared for the Rugby World Cup than any he had previously been a part of.

As a result of the injuries, France will sport a new centre pairing as young Yoram Moefana comes in to partner Gael Fickou. Moefana is set to play a key role with experienced and gifted All Blacks likely to be attacking his channel.

France will be hoping to replicate the Springboks’ dominance over the All Blacks at scrum time as Reda Wardi comes in to form a hard-as-nails starting front row with Julien Marchand and Uini Atonio.

Their grunt up front is augmented by some trademark French flair out wide and back three Gabin Villiere, Penaud and Ramos all come into this match in excellent form and hunting tries.

New Zealand have shed the luxury of one of their Barretts as there is no place in the matchday 23 for the versatile Jordie.

Having seen the Springboks punch holes in their midfield, the All Blacks have reinforced at inside centre with Anton Leinert-Brown brought in to play between Mo’unga and fellow centre Rieko Ioane.

The All Blacks seem to have signalled their desire for all all-out attack with their team as Beauden Barret moves to fullback, and Jordan and Mark Telea operate on the wings.

Nepo Laulala has replaced Tyrel Lomax in a front row that will be under tremendous pressure to get things right and also get about the park to enable the lethal offload game that the All Blacks use to decimate defences.

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