In what promises to be a thrilling encounter at the Rugby World Cup, France and South Africa are set to clash in the quarter-finals this weekend. This match, filled with anticipation and excitement, could easily have been mistaken for the final of the 2023 tournament, given the reputation of both teams. France, the highly-favored hosts, will be facing the defending champions, South Africa, in what is expected to be a nail-biting quarter-final showdown in Paris.
France’s journey in the tournament has been impressive, marked by victories over New Zealand, a hard-fought battle against Uruguay, and a dominant performance against Italy, securing their place at the top of Pool A. On the other hand, South Africa faced challenges in the group stage, notably against Ireland, but managed to secure their spot in the quarter-finals after defeating Scotland in a crucial match.
The much-anticipated clash between France and South Africa is scheduled for Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 8pm BST at the Stade de France in Paris. Fans in the UK can catch the action live and free on ITV1, with coverage starting at 7.15pm. Additionally, the match can be streamed online via the ITVX website and app.
In terms of team news, France will likely see the return of Antoine Dupont, who has recovered from facial surgery, providing a significant boost to the team’s confidence. However, hooker Julien Marchand may miss out due to a hamstring injury. South Africa faces tough selection decisions, especially in the half-back combination, where Mannie Libbok aims to prove his worth against the returning Handre Pollard.
The referee for this high-stakes encounter will be New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe, assisted by fellow Kiwis Paul Williams, James Doleman, and TMO Brendon Pickerill.
Predicting the outcome of this match is no easy task, given the strengths of both teams. South Africa, with their experience and power, could replicate their 2019 success and showcase their killer instinct. However, France, buoyed by home support and the talent of their players, might just have fate on their side. While it’s a close call, the prediction leans slightly towards France, winning by under five points.
Looking at their historical matchups, France ended a seven-game losing streak against South Africa in their last meeting, and interestingly, this will only be their second encounter at a World Cup, the previous one being in the 1995 semi-finals, which South Africa won.
As for the latest odds, France is favored to qualify at 8/11, while South Africa’s odds stand at 6/5, according to Befair, although these odds are subject to change.
In summary, the France vs. South Africa quarter-final promises to be a riveting contest between two powerhouse teams, with fans eagerly anticipating a memorable battle on the rugby field.