In a highly anticipated opening match of the Rugby World Cup 2023, host nation France is set to battle it out with the formidable New Zealand All Blacks at the Stade de France. The encounter promises to be a close and enthralling one, setting a vigorous tone for the seven-week-long tournament.
As Paris experiences a sweltering day with temperatures soaring to 35C, the atmosphere inside the stadium is expected to reach fever pitch, especially during the traditional haka performance by the All Blacks. The French team, known for not always being the most accommodating during this ritual, is prepared to face their rivals head-on.
A Point to Prove
The All Blacks are entering this game with a substantial point to prove. Following their historic defeat at the hands of South Africa just two weeks ago — the biggest in their history — the team is eager to reclaim their standing. Despite being three-time world champions, they have only once clinched victory on foreign soil. This match offers a golden opportunity to showcase their resilience and championship pedigree.
On the other hand, the French team is eyeing their first tournament victory. Under the guidance of head coach Fabien Galthié, the team has undergone a remarkable transformation, losing just once on home soil during Galthié’s tenure. The stage seems set for them to potentially seize a historic win, leveraging their current form and home ground advantage.
In a significant development, New Zealand’s team has suffered a setback with captain Sam Cane being ruled out due to injury. This development has led to Tupou Vaa’i being named to start at position 6, while Brodie Retallick will be available on the bench.
Big breaking team news as New Zealand captain Sam Cane has been ruled out through injury. Tupou Vaa’i will now start at 6 and Brodie Retallick is on the bench. A big blow for the All Blacks with just half an hour until the opening game.
This change in lineup, occurring a mere half-hour before the opening game, presents a considerable challenge for the All Blacks as they head into this crucial match.
As the kickoff time approaches, both teams find themselves at a crossroads, carrying their own sets of pressures and expectations. New Zealand has a pristine record of never losing a World Cup pool game, a streak they are desperate to maintain. Meanwhile, France harbors aspirations of leveraging their home ground advantage to secure a victory, setting a positive trajectory for their World Cup campaign.
As the world watches, one can only speculate on the outcome of this electrifying match-up. The stage is set for a game filled with passion, skill, and undying spirit as two of the rugby world’s giants collide in Paris. Stay tuned for live updates as we bring you moment-to-moment coverage from the heart of the action in Paris.