Rugby World Cup: a huge fervour around the XV of France

While the competition starts this Friday, September 8 in France with a shock against New Zealand, the popular fervor is more important around the XV tricolor who hopes to finally win the world title that is missing from his record.

The William Webb Ellis Cup will be awarded to the winning team of the Rugby World Cup. AP - Christophe Ena

By: CĂ©dric de Oliveira

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The first time France hosted the World Cup was in 2007. Nicolas Sarkozy was President of the Republic and Bernard Laporte was coach. Candidate for the final victory, the XV tricolor had stopped in the semifinals.

🇫🇷🇳🇿

🔥HERE IS YOUR #XVdeFrance FOR THE OPENING MATCH OF THE #RWC2023 AGAINST New Zealand🤩#UnisPourUnRêve #FRAvNZL pic.twitter.com/EhVrA2srkp

— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) September 6, 2023

This time, French fans, enthusiastic about the current success of their protégés, believe hard as iron to a victory in the final on October 28. Many are enthusiastic, even euphoric. Dimitri and his friends will be at the Stade de France for the clash against New Zealand this Friday, "an unmissable appointment" for the thirty-year-old.

"I've been waiting for this for four years, since the end of the World Cup in Japan. This is an important moment that I would not have missed for anything in the world. I don't see how we can't be world champions." Right next to him, Jérémy adds on the fervor: "It's a bit like during a football World Cup. Something is happening. I'm not very rugby, but now I want to get started." Maximilien, the third thief of the gang, felt the same way: "I was lucky enough to get a ticket thanks to friends. We will enjoy, as for the Olympic Games, as for Roland-Garros. Me, I love sport, especially during big events! »

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Blues supported all summer

And the enthusiasm should only grow if the Blues progress in the competition of which they are favorites. Since the beginning of their preparation, on July 2nd, they have been able to see the extraordinary enthusiasm around them. From Monaco to Capbreton in the Landes, where the French management was able to organize training in public. But also during the three preparation matches in France, against Scotland (Saint-Etienne), Fiji (Nantes) and Australia (Stade de France), on August 27, as a dress rehearsal against the All Blacks.

In short, it was a party all summer around the XV of France and the hooker Julien Marchand was able to realize it: "We are aware of it, we could see it every day. We have confidence in all these supporters who have been there since the beginning and who are really behind us. We could also see against Australia that there were really a lot of emotions, especially when the Marseillaise resonated a cappella, it gave us strength during the match." His teammate, the powerful third line Grégory Aldritt adds: "We feel this fervor around us. We've been given a lot for two months. We're going to have a boiling stadium (against New Zealand) and we're going to use that."

A high-performance and exciting XV of France

If the French public is so enthusiastic, it is because the XV tricolor returns a positive image for several years. After a period of poor results, French rugby began its reconstruction at the last World Cup in Japan four years ago. Eliminated in the quarter-finals by Wales (20-19), the Blues, carried by an exceptional generation, have beaten all the major nations and won the biggest competition in Europe, the Six Nations Tournament in 2022, even offering themselves the Grand Slam (five wins in five matches).

See alsoThe France wins the Six Nations Tournament and signs the Grand Slam

For four years, everything seems easy for this XV of France. And for Daniel Herrero, former rugby player and coach, the public can also easily identify with the Blues. "The performance generated sympathy, but what generates excitement is the beauty of moral values. This team of France, it is beautiful attitude, it is beautiful morally, "ignites the one who is now a writer. "She doesn't have the melon, she doesn't overplay her athleticism, she is never disrespectful to the opponent. They are beautiful the French, they are stuffed! " he says with chauvinism.

Beware all the same of overconfidence for the Blues and their supporters. In 2007, despite public support, they missed their debut against Argentina at the Stade de France, before stopping in the semi-finals and seeing South Africa win the World Cup.

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  • France
  • Rugby
  • Rugby World Cup 2023
  • New Zealand
  • Society