France will be hot favorites to make it two wins from two at the Rugby World Cup when they face Uruguay in Pool A on Thursday night, despite radical changes to their squad.
The Blues got off to a fantastic start on the opening night as they look to claim their first Webb Ellis Cup triumph at their home tournament this autumn, beating the mighty All Blacks at a London Stadium. France in full turmoil.
Tries from Damian Penaud and Melvyn Jaminet plus the trusty boot of Thomas Ramos saw Fabien Galthie’s side win 27-13 in a thrilling clash in Paris, canceling out two goals from the neo-winger. Zeeland Mark Telea.
It was a significant statement of title intent from France as they head clearly into the quarter-finals on half of a lopsided draw after an uncertain preparation dominated by injuries and the controversial call-up of Bastien Chalureau, but one that came at a cost with another lost starter.
They are now expected to emphatically put to the sword a Uruguayan team playing their first match of the 2023 tournament, after missing the opening weekend.
This is a fifth World Cup overall and third in a row for Los Teros, who have never progressed past the group stage but have won three matches so far – against Fiji in 2019 , Georgia in 2003 and Spain in 1999.
Esteban Meneses’ side – ranked 17th in the world – secured their place in France by overturning a three-point first-leg deficit against the United States in October 2021 to qualify for Ligue 1 of the Americas.
Kick-off date, time and location
France vs Uruguay takes place on Thursday September 14, 2023, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm BST. It’s 9 p.m. local time.
The Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille will host the meeting.
Where to watch France vs Uruguay
TV channel: In the UK, Thursday’s match will be broadcast live and free on ITV4, with coverage starting at 7:15 p.m.
Direct: Fans can also follow the action live online via the ITVX website and app.
Live blog: Follow the game as it unfolds with Standard sportThe blog dedicated to live matches.
France vs Uruguay team news
France were already without fly-half Romain Ntamack, influential lock Paul Willemse and loose prop Cyril Baille against the All Blacks, as well as powerful center Jonathan Danty, with the list of casualties only growing after an affair extremely physical in Paris. Ntamack and Willemse are absent for the entire tournament.
Hooker Julien Marchand suffered a hamstring injury early in the opener, with Peato Mauvaka filling in admirably in his absence. It remains to be seen when he or Baille might return, although both front-row forwards remain with Galthie’s side as things stand.
Pierre Bourgarit gets the No.2 shirt against Uruguay as France make the changes with 12 in total, with flanker Anthony Jelonch captaining the team in his first appearance since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the United’s victory. Six Nations against Scotland in February.
Only center Yoram Moefana, winger Gabin Villière and lock Cameron Woki retain their starting places after the win over New Zealand, still without Danty despite early suggestions he would likely return from injury this week.
Controversial call-up Bastien Chalureau is on the bench, but there is complete rest for inspirational captain Antoine Dupont and star rower Gregory Alldritt.
Fortunately for Uruguay, who are also due to name their squad on Tuesday, star scrum-half Santiago Arata – who plays rugby for his French club Castres – is fit after undergoing surgery on a broken finger in July.
Lineups France vs Uruguay
XV of France: Jaminet; Bielle-Biarrey, Vincent, Moefana, Villière; Hastoy, Lucu; Gros, Bourgarit, Aldegheri; Woki, Taofifenua; Boudehent, Macalou, Jelonch (c)
Substitutes: Mauvaka, Wardi, Falatea, Chalureau, Flament, Cros, Couilloud, Ramos
Uruguay XV: To confirm
Substitutes: To confirm
Referee France vs Uruguay
New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe will be the man in the middle on Thursday, supported by assistants Paul Williams and James Doleman as well as TMO Ben Whitehouse.
France vs Uruguay Prediction
The tough and determined Uruguay are neither a pushover nor a stranger at this stage and they will be hoping to add to their trio of World Cup victories this year.
They are behind Argentina as the second best team in the Americas, but will surely be easily brushed aside by France and a hurt All Blacks team in Pool A. Both matches will be a pure exercise in damage limitation from the start.
Meneses will be pragmatic and knows full well that the match against Namibia in Lyon on September 27 represents by far his best chance of victory in an otherwise very delicate group, having beaten the Welwitschias 26-18 in a warm-up match at the World Cup in Montevideo. only last month.
Uruguay also beat Argentina and narrowly edged out World Cup debutants Chile after being beaten by Georgia last fall. This summer they lost twice to Japan and drew two matches against Romania, having stubbornly lost 17-10 to Italy in Parma the year before.
It will be an inevitable bombardment to further build French confidence and confidence, but Uruguay will not be discouraged.
France wins, by 30 points.
History and results of face-to-face meetings (h2h)
This is the first time these two countries have faced each other in a competitive rugby union match.
Latest France vs Uruguay odds
France winner: 1/100
Uruguay winner: 50/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).