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2023 Rugby World Cup
France v New Zealand
Stade de France
Friday, 8 September 2023
Kick-off is at 21h15
France will face off with New Zealand in the opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup
at the Stade de France on September 8.
The Blues emerged as 41-17 winners over Australia in an international friendly match played at the Stade de France on August 27.
The win extended France's unbeaten run to three matches across all competitions having recorded three successive victories after losing to Scotland on August 5.
Meanwhile, New Zealand lost 35-7 to South Africa in an international friendly match at the Twickenham Stadium in London, England on August 25.
The defeat ended the All Blacks' 11-match unbeaten run across all competitions having recorded 10 victories and one draw against England on 19 November 2022.
The group is made up of New Zealand, tournament hosts France, Italy, Uruguay as well as Namibia.
New Zealand look destined to win Pool B with France and Italy tipped to battle for the runners-up spot which earns a team a place in the knockout phase.
The team that finishes third will qualify for the 2027 Rugby World Cup which is set to be held in Australia.
France captain Antoine Dupont is looking forward to a clash with New Zealand halfback Aaron Smith.
"I watched him on TV when I was younger, he was a world-class player then and I admire his game a lot," Dupont said.
"Despite his age, he still has the speed and quality of pass. He is a very important link in the All Blacks' chain with his ability to inject speed."
"If you look at their World Cup record, they remain the greatest team in the world in this tournament," he added.
"They have several players with more than 100 caps, they know how to play big games. We can be sure they will be prepared for Friday because they have the experience and ability to play such matches."
The last meeting between France and New Zealand was on 20 November 2021.
The Blues secured a 40-25 win over the All Blacks in a 2021 end-of-year test played at the Stade de France.
Head-to-Head (Across all competitions)
Matches - 62
France - 13
New Zealand - 48
Draws - 1
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