France look to make it back-to-back Rugby World Cup victories when they face Uruguay in Pool A on Thursday.
The hosts opened the tournament with a morale-boosting win over three-time champions New Zealand, while the South Americans make their tournament bow in Lille.
France vs Uruguay Betting Tips
- Uruguay to score first try @ 5/1 with Bet365
- Highest scoring half: Second Half @ 5/7 with Sky Bet
- Over 10.5 total tries @ 4/5 with Bet365
Uruguay to stun Stade Pierre-Mauroy
When facing the top nations, the underdogs will be pumped and you will see plenty of energy from them in the early stages of these contests.
A good example of this came last weekend when Romania broke the deadlock against Ireland, pouncing on loose play by the world’s top-ranked team inside the opening two minutes.
Against a much-changed France, there is every chance Uruguay could profit in a similar manner. Not only that, but the South Americans have arrived at the tournament with plenty of purpose and ambition.
“The group goal is to beat Italy and Namibia and qualify for Rugby World Cup 2027,” winger Ignacio Facciolo said earlier this week.
“We do not rule out the France and New Zealand games. We are going to play them as equals and we are going to go out and win. Uruguay will never give up a game as a lost cause.”
France’s quality will eventually shine through
As previously mentioned, this will be a heavily rotated France starting XV from the opening victory over New Zealand.
Therefore, Les Bleus will likely take a little bit of time to settle into their rhythm out on the field.
However, you would fully expect them to eventually click into gear and take maximum points without too many difficulties.
Buoyed by their home crowd, they will almost certainly get stronger as the contest goes on and Uruguay maybe begin to tire.
Double-figures in Lille
France know what it takes to score heavily at a Rugby World Cup. Their record number of tries during a single match at the tournament is 13 – achieved against Zimbabwe in 1987 and Namibia 20 years later.
Les Bleus may not quite reach that tally here, especially against a vastly improving Uruguay, though you will still expect them to win fairly comfortably.
The hosts have a good opportunity to build momentum with sterner tests to come and the more tries they can score, the better, but the South Americans will not roll over and should have some impact on the scoreboard as well.
Combine the efforts of both sides and we could be looking at double figures in terms of total tries.
France vs Uruguay team news
The hosts have made 12 changes from the XV that started against New Zealand, with Cameron Woki, Gabin Villiere and Yoram Moefana the only survivors.
Anthony Jelonch captains Les Bleus in his first appearance since sustaining a knee injury in February, while Antoine Hastoy starts only his third Test at fly-half.
France: Melvyn Jaminet, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Arthur Vincent, Yoram Moefana, Gabin Villiere, Antoine Hastoy, Maxime Lucu; Jean-Baptiste Gros, Pierre Bourgarit, Dorian Aldegheri, Cameron Woki, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Boudehent, Sekou Macalou, Anthony Jelonch.
Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Bastien Chalureau, Thibaud Flament, Francois Cros, Baptiste Couilloud, Thomas Ramos.
Uruguay name an experienced XV for their first match of the tournament, with 11 of them having also started in Japan four years ago.
Agustin Ormaechea and captain Andres Vilaseca will become the first Uruguayans to appear at three Rugby World Cups, while Santiago Arata has recovered from a hand injury to start at scrum-half.
Uruguay: Baltazar Amaya, Bautista Basso, Tomas Inciarte, Andres Vilaseca, Nicolas Freitas, Felipe Etcheverry, Santiago Arata; Mateo Sanguinetti, Guillermo Pujadas, Ignacio Peculo, Felipe Aliaga, Manuel Leindekar, Manuel Ardao, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Diana.
Replacements: Facundo Gattas, Matias Benitez, Reinaldo Piussi, Ignacio Dotti, Lucas Bianchi, Carlos Deus, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi.