There is only one match on the schedule this Friday, but what a match! In the French pool - group A - All-Blacks and Italians face each other in what is akin to a round of 16. So beware of the vanquished. And if New Zealand is obviously the favorite, we will have to be wary of the Squadra Azzurra. Second in the group thanks to two improved successes, the Italians have already validated their official objective: third place, synonymous with qualification for the next World Cup. Against the Kiwi nation, they will have nothing to lose. The New Zealanders have no room for error. See you at 9:00 p.m. for this poster which will take place at the Groupama stadium in Lyon.
Also read: 2023 World Cup: schedule and results
Italy-New Zealand (group A): 9:00 p.m. (TF1)
After intensive public training on Thursday at the end of the day in front of 2,000 supporters in Aix-en-Provence, the Blues once again benefit from two days of rest (this Friday and Saturday). “The staff gives us two full days off to recharge the batteries before returning to a classic match week,” explained fullback Melvyn Jaminet. Some players will take advantage of this to bring their families. Others planned to return home during these two days of blackout. The last ones before the long straight of this World Cup.
Italy have never beaten New Zealand in their history. But there is no question for Blacks coach Ian Foster to take the match lightly: “History means nothing. The story is in yesterday's newspaper, not tomorrow's. » A way of maintaining pressure on his players, who have no room for error this Friday evening.
He has had an excellent start to the World Cup and is just five points behind Diego Dominguez, Italy's all-time leading Rugby World Cup scorer. Tommaso Allan will undoubtedly be one of the men to watch in this exciting Italy-New Zealand. With a 100% success rate since the start of the competition (13/13), he has already scored 27 points in two matches. Positioned at the opening this Friday evening, he will be one of the main assets of the Azzurri.
Those who have watched Italy's matches since the start of the World Cup know that winning has been one of their strong points, and it is not this statistic that will make us say the opposite: since the start of the competition , the player to have caught the most balls in touch is the Italian Giacomo Nicotera. He is also the only player competing in the world championships to have a 100% success rate. The All-Blacks have been warned, they will have to be wary of Italian touches.