Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Rugby World Cup clash between France and Uruguay, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
After an enthralling first week of action, the second round of matches at the 2023 Rugby World Cup will get underway on Thursday evening, with France taking on Uruguay at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Les Bleus were sensational in their opening game of the tournament and will be looking to maintain their impressive form in this match, while Los Teros will be hoping to pull off an upset in their opening fixture of the tournament.
France will come into this match brimming with confidence after securing their first win of the competition, overcoming the mighty All Blacks 27-13 last week in front of 80,000 fans at Stade de France.
Damian Penaud and Melvyn Jaminet were the players who got over the try line for Les Bleus in the match, while Thomas Ramos contributed 17 points, knocking over five penalties and a conversion.
Despite the relatively comfortable-looking final scoreline, the battle between the two powerhouses of Pool A was a fierce one, and the French only managed to pull away from their opponents in the second half after heading into the break at 9-8.
Fabien Galthie‘s side were also caught out on a couple of occasions as Mark Telea broke their defence to score in each half, while Will Jordan being sent to the sin bin took the wind out of the All Blacks’ sails just as they were building up momentum.
However, while the hosts will know that they can and probably will have to perform appreciably better for the remainder of the tournament, the fact that they handed New Zealand their first-ever pool defeat in a World Cup will give them genuine belief that they can go all the way this year.
They now set their sights on an opponent that they have never met in the past and will be eyeing up a big win which will take them to the top of Pool A, with current leaders Italy only scheduled to play their next match in a week.
Meanwhile, Uruguay will be under no misapprehension about the size of the task they face here and will head into this match as massive underdogs to upset the host nation in what is expected to be another packed house in Villeneuve-d’Ascq.
However, Los Teros come into this competition carrying solid form, which included back-to-back wins in their warm-up matches, beating Chile 26-25 back in July and overcoming Namibia 26-18 at the start of last month.
The South Americans finished at the bottom of their Pool in the 2019 World Cup in Japan, although they did manage one win in the competition, famously beating Fiji 30-27 in their opening match.
Head coach Esteban Meneses was at the helm for that win four years ago, and the long
…. to be continued
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