World Cup France will kick off in the early morning of the 8th and Japan time of the 9th.

In the opening match, the host nation France will face the three-time champions New Zealand.

Both are rugby powerhouses, but we will introduce in detail what kind of team they will play in this tournament and what their past matches have been.

NHK will broadcast the opening match on Sogo TV and BS3K, as well as on NHK Plus.

table of contents

  • 《France National Team》

  • 《New Zealand National Team》

  • 《France × New Zealand Past Matches》

Open Table of Contents

table of contents

table of contents

  • 《France National Team》

  • 《New Zealand National Team》

  • 《France × New Zealand Past Matches》

【NHK Broadcast Schedule】Rugby World Cup 2023

《France National Team》

The host nation France, ranked third in the world, has reached the final tournament in all nine World Cups, finishing runners-up in three of them.

This will be the second time the tournament has been held on home soil since 3, when it was held together with Wales and others, and they will aim to win their long-awaited first title.

【The road to the World Cup】
In the previous Japan tournament, they were placed in the same group as strong teams such as England and Argentina, and qualified for this tournament by finishing second and advancing through the first round.

Previous Tournament Quarterfinals against Wales

After a narrow 19-20 defeat to Wales in the quarter-finals, France made a huge leap forward after the tournament, winning 2021 consecutive Test matches between November 11 and February 2023.

In 2, they beat the powerhouse New Zealand National Team in the opening match of this tournament for the first time in 14 years, and are one of the favourites.

【Rugby Style】
The France national team is nicknamed "Les Bleus" because of their bright blue uniform, and their tactics are also described as "champagne rugby" because the players unfold into the space one after another like champagne bubbles and connect passes.

At the heart of the team will be 2021-year-old scrum-half Antoine Dupont, who was voted the best player in the world in 26, and will lead the team as captain in this tournament with brilliant steps and the ability to unmark opponents.

Antoine Dupont Captain

In addition to DuPont, it will be interesting to see if the talented young players and mid-level players can reach the final for the fourth time and come out on top.

《New Zealand National Team》

"Haka" performed before the game

The New Zealand National Team is ranked fourth in the world.

They have reached the last eight or better in all nine World Cups, and have won the World Cup three times, the most with South Africa, and will be aiming to win this tournament for the first time in two tournaments.

Another feature is that the players get excited with the haka, a traditional indigenous dance performed before the game.

【The road to the World Cup】
In the previous Japan World Cup, they qualified for this tournament by finishing first in the first round, and although they lost to England 1-1 in the semi-finals, they beat Wales 7-19 in the third-place match to finish third.

Previous Tournament 3rd Place Match against Wales

Last summer, the New Zealand National Team suffered a slump in defeats to Argentina and Ireland, but they regained form and won the Southern Hemisphere Championship for the third time in a row by winning all four Southern Hemisphere nations this summer.

【Rugby Style】
The New Zealand National Team is nicknamed the "All Blacks" because of its black uniform both at the top and bottom, and its speedy rugby, in which players with outstanding physical ability develop with abundant exercise and overwhelming physical strength, is popular all over the world.

The captain will be flanker Sam Kane, who has a reputation for tackling and "jackals" who go to steal the ball from opponents.

Captain Sam Kane

In addition, scrum-half Aaron Smith, who is considered one of the best players in the world for his outstanding passing skills, and lock Samuel Whitelock, who will be making his fourth World Cup appearance, will be named as they aim to win their fourth title, the most in history.

《France × New Zealand Past Matches》

The past record between the two strong teams who will clash in the opening match is 13 wins, 48 losses and 1 draw against New Zealand.

In the World Cup, we have faced each other twice in the finals of the first tournament in 1987 and the seventh tournament in 1, but both times France lost, especially in 2011, when New Zealand won the championship with an 7-2 victory, and France, who reached the final for the third time, missed out on their first title by one goal.

【Click here for details】History of Rugby World Cup

The two teams met in the finals of the first edition in 1987 and the seventh edition in 1.

France won their most recent meeting (Nov. 2021)

However, in November 2021, France defeated New Zealand 11-40 in the same match at the Stade de France, their first victory in 25 years.

This was the first time since the third edition of the World Cup between South Africa and Australia in 12 that the host nation faced a powerhouse of the same rank in the opening match of the World Cup, and this time the host nation South Africa won the first match and won the championship for the first time with the enthusiastic support of the people.

It will be an opening game that will be watched by the world to see if France, who will host their country for the second time, will gain momentum by winning their opening match to win their long-awaited first title, or whether New Zealand, who are aiming for their fourth title, will show their power in the first match.

【NHK Special Website】Rugby World Cup 2023