Axel May / Photo credit: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP 10:22 am, September 04, 2023

D-4 before the launch of the Rugby World Cup. This weekend, the XV of France settled in Rueil-Malmaison to prepare for the opening match against New Zealand. A summit meeting that the Blues prepare with concentration.

On Friday, the France XV will open their World Cup at home, against New Zealand. Since this weekend, the Blues are installed in Rueil-Malmaison, in the suburbs of Paris. Objective: to be ready for this extraordinary meeting.

"That's all we think about"

After two months of physical preparation, the Blues can put themselves in "World Cup" mode. They settled this weekend in a luxury hotel in Rueil-Malmaison which will serve as their base camp, and now think only of this opening match, this prestigious poster against the All Black. "We only think about that, it's true that it's our goal, we are focused on this match," said experienced player Gaël Fickou.

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A match necessarily out of the norm for a World Cup played at home, but the preparation looks classic, says coach Fabien Galthié.

"We haven't changed our habits for four years, we've learned, progressed, worked together. We went through four years, that's 39 games, this will be our 40th game. So, we will ride to the appointment in a classic way in a match that is not, "says the coach.

What program for the Blues?

The Blues will train on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, the composition of the team will be revealed. Thursday will be the traditional pre-match training session at the Stade de France, before the kick-off of the match, Friday at 21:15.

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And for those who are lucky enough to attend the match, be careful because the appointment could be disrupted by a strike movement in transport. It will therefore be necessary to make arrangements to go to the Stade de France.