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After a wait of just under four years, it is time for the Rugby World Cup to return with the hosts France taking on the three time champions New Zealand on Friday evening. With the eyes of all rugby fans from across the world on this game, read on for our France vs New Zealand predictions.
France vs New Zealand – match predictions
France were dumped out at the quarter final stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup by Wales with New Zealand knocked out in the last four by England. Will one of them take a big step towards the knockout stage in this game? Here are our tip predictions for this clash:
New Zealand to win @ 1.91 (10/11)
It’s not the prediction that any French rugby fans were hoping to see but we fancy the All Blacks to turn up on the big stage in this game. They have an excellent record in the head to heads against France and, although they suffered a big defeat in their last competitive game, they were a man down for a large part of the match.
France have been playing excellent rugby and the whole federation has been building up to this Rugby World Cup for many years. However, with such a build-up, comes a huge amount of pressure and expectation. We are backing France to go a long way in the tournament but expect New Zealand to come out on top of this opener.
Will Jordan to score a try in the first half @ 6.00 (5/1)
The 25 year old is yet to appear at a Rugby World Cup but many expect him to take this tournament by storm in France. Described as a ‘try-machine’ by locals in New Zealand, Jordan has had a few injury problems over recent years but comes into this game in excellent form and ready to announce himself in the competition from the first whistle.
Two rugby heavyweights clash on the opening day of World Cup
Heading into this world cup opener, let’s take a closer look at the recent form of both sides.
After their Grand Slam in the 2022 Six Nations campaign, France had to settle for second place to Ireland this year but they were still light-years ahead of the other four sides. Coming into this Rugby World Cup, France have won six of their last seven games and were far too strong for Australia in their last match, running out 41-17 winners at the Stade de France.
New Zealand come into this game ranked fourth in the world, one place beneath their hosts and opponents. They had been on an impressive run ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup but their preparations took a huge blow when they were thrashed 35-7 by South Africa at Twickenham in late August.
France vs New Zealand head to head
New Zealand have a dominant record over France and lead the head to head 48-13. Games in France between the sides also see the All Blacks leading 29-7 with one game ending in a draw. This will be the eighth time they have met in a Rugby World Cup with the last meeting in the tournament seeing New Zealand thrash France 62-13.
Key match details
- Date and time: Friday 8 September, 20:15 UK time
- Venue: Stade de France, Paris
- How to watch: ITV
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