New single-match day in this World Cup. This Thursday at 9 p.m., Japan and Samoa face off at the Toulouse Stadium for a duel that looks like the round of 16 in Pool D. Still in the race for quarterfinal qualification with Argentina, behind the untouchable England, Japanese and Samoans know they have no choice but to win today.
The poster promises to be tight and tense between the Braves Blossoms, beaten by the XV de la Rose (12-34) ten days ago, and the Manu Samoa, disappointing against Argentina (10-19). Victorious over Chile when they entered the fray, the two nations need a second success to hope to continue the adventure.
Japan-Samoa (group D): 9:00 p.m. (M6)
After an “off” Wednesday without training, the French XV returns to the field this Thursday in their Aix-en-Provence base camp, eight days before their final group match against Italy at Groupama Stadium in Lyon (October 6). A meeting that captain Antoine Dupont risks missing, despite the positive progress in his recovery which arouses optimism within the Blues staff with a view to participating in the quarter-final.
The small Georges Carcassonne stadium will be full this Thursday for the public training of Fabien Galthié's men. The 1,700 places, to be reserved in advance, were in fact so much in demand that it was necessary to draw lots to choose the lucky ones. It is therefore to the cheers of their supporters that the Blues will train this Thursday from 4:45 p.m.
“We have a plan to correct the mistakes we made against the English, particularly defensively. We can't afford to miss so many tackles against Samoa,” said Japan's New Zealand coach Jamie Joseph, who is playing big tonight. A motivation shared by his captain Kazuki Himeno: “We have worked together for many years and despite the temporary difficulties we have confidence in ourselves and in our game. It's a very important match (against Samoa), we know that it will go well be difficult."
Author of a try against Chile (43-10), the center of RC Toulon, positioned at the back in this World Cup, came close to being penalized against the Argentinians by receiving a yellow card for dangerous play from the very first moments in the game. Good news for him, the bunker did not turn the sanction into red, which allows him to start this Thursday. Ahead of Japan, the 28-year-old player of New Zealand origin will be keen to do better, with Samoa needing his talent to qualify for the next round.
In 5 of its last 6 World Cup group matches, Italy has scored more than 30 points, as often as in its last 27 meetings in the competition combined. Certainly, the opponents encountered - Romania in 2015, Canada in 2019, Namibia in 2019 and 2023 and Uruguay in 2023 - benefited the Squadra Azzurra which had the opportunity to express its offensive potential against defenses of lesser caliber. But the figure has the merit of existing and should give confidence to Ange Capuozzo's teammates who hope to achieve the feat against New Zealand this Friday.