24 hours after the French XV, New Zealand returns to the field for the second day of Pool A. Dominated by the Blues (27-13) during the opening match, the All Blacks should logically know a lot fewer difficulties against Namibia, 21st nation in the world, this Friday evening (9 p.m.).
At the Toulouse Stadium, the three-time world champions (1987, 2011, 2015) covet the improved victory (four tries) while their opponent, the smallest member of the group and soundly beaten by Italy last weekend (52-8 ), will give everything to look good.
Also read: 2023 World Cup: classification by group
Today's meeting will be followed at 9:00 p.m. on TF1, but also live with commentary on our Figaro website.
Also read: 2023 World Cup: schedule and match results
The day after its match against Uruguay at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille, the French XV will return during the day to its base camp at Rueil-Malmaison. The French staff and players will recover and prepare for their departure to Aix-en-Provence, the city which will welcome them from September 17 to October 3. For good reason, the Blues will challenge Namibia on Thursday 21 in Marseille, before finishing the group stage against Italy in Lyon on October 6.
“They are the best team in the world right now. This will be the most complicated match. You will have to be physically up to standard,” warns Malakai Fekitoa, the center of Tonga who begin their World Cup against Ireland on Saturday (9 p.m.), at the Beaujoire stadium in Nantes. The player who played for Munster knows Irish rugby very well and knows that the task does not look easy for his team. But he’s looking forward to it: “It’s weird playing against them. We get along really well. They took me under their wing when I arrived. I will give everything on the pitch, the same for them. It's good for us. We were able to see the others play. We get a taste of the competition before entering.”
Arriving at RC Toulon in June, the 23-year-old New Zealand winger will experience, for his third selection, his first start in the World Cup against Namibia. Son of former Tongan international Malakai Fainga'anuku, the ex-Crusaders player will have many opportunities to shine on his left side. It's up to him to achieve the same performance as the incumbent Mark Telea, very impressive against France with two tries scored.
The largest victory in All Blacks history dates back to June 4, 1995, established with a score of 145-17 against Japan during the World Cup in South Africa. A huge gap of 122 points that Ian Foster's men could approach this evening given the enormous difference in level with Namibia. But is breaking this record possible? This would require a series of tests against the Namibians who will undoubtedly remember the nightmare of October 25, 2003, the day of their historic 142-0 defeat against Australia.