2023 World Cup: France-New Zealand at the opening, the Blues calendar unveiled

The 2023 Rugby World Cup schedule was unveiled this Friday at noon. As expected, the XV of France will challenge New Zealand in the opening match to start the competition very strongly.

It was expected, it is now official! The XV of France will launch “its” 2023 World Cup at home with a huge shock against New Zealand on Friday September 8, 2023 at the Stade de France. The organizers unveiled the match schedule this Friday by videoconference with Claude Atcher, director general of France 2023 and former international Sébastien Chabal, ambassador of the World Cup.

Since the drawing of lots on December 14 that placed the Blues with the Blacks, the common wish of the organizers and several members of the XV of France was to schedule the meeting between the two countries in opening. The Blues will therefore start very strongly against the triple world champions (1991, 2011 and 2015) they have already faced in the group stage during the 2011 edition … before finding them in the final.

“It’s a dream match, said captain Charles Ollivon. To start the World Cup in France against New Zealand, it has no equal.”

Matches in Marseille, Lille and Lyon for the Blues

After the Blacks, France will face the nation resulting from the qualifications of the Americas 1 (United States, Canada or Uruguay?) On September 14 in Lille, then that resulting from the qualifications of Africa 1 (Namibia) in Marseille on September 21, and finally Italy on October 6 in Lyon. Other big shocks will be expected during the group stage of the competition: South Africa-Ireland scheduled for September 23 at the Stade de France or Wales-Australia, September 24 in Lyon, which will also host two Blacks matches. . England-Argentina September 9 in Marseille which will receive the next day the beautiful poster between South Africa and Scotland.

The competition extended by a week, the groups enlarged

All of these fixtures will be spaced five days apart, as World Rugby announced this week in a series of player-health measures.The player groups for each team have also been expanded to 33 instead of the usual 31. The competition has also been extended by a week.

The main posters by city

Saint-Denis (Stade de France)
September 8, 2023: France – New Zealand

Toulouse
September 15: New Zealand – Africa 1

Nice
September 17: England – Japan

Marseilles
September 9: England – Argentina
September 10: South Africa – Scotland
September 21: France – Africa 1

Bordeaux
September 17: South Africa – Europe 2
September 10: Wales – Fiji

Nantes
October 8: Japan-Argentina

Lille
September 14: France – America 1

Lyon
September 24: Wales-Australia
September 29: New Zealand – Italy
October 6: France – Italy

Saint Etienne
September 17: Australia – Fiji

Nicolas Couet RMC Sport journalist

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