Rugby World Cup 2023 (RWC 2023) took an exciting step towards fruition on Friday as the tournament schedule was announced.
Fans across the globe will have been busy checking the fixture list for their team’s schedule, and there are some mouthwatering match-ups at France 2023. We have selected 3 matches that will bring a lot of thrilling action for rugby fans.
FRANCE V NEW ZEALAND, POOL A, 8 SEPTEMBER, STADE DE FRANCE
Rugby World Cup 2023 will kick off in style with the hosts taking on the All Blacks in the opening match at the Stade de France. The two teams have a wealth of shared tournament experience having met seven times at Rugby World Cup to date.
The teams’ first meeting came in the RWC 1987 final at Eden Park, in which New Zealand won 29-9, while the two countries returned to the famous stadium for the showpiece match of RWC 2011, with the All Blacks again emerging victorious, 8-7. But, arguably the most thrilling match between the teams came in the RWC 1999 semi-finals when Les Bleus overturned a 24-10 deficit to win 43-31 at Twickenham.
The opening match of RWC 2023 will only be the second time the two teams have met during the pool stage. And, with games against Italy and the Americas 1 and Africa 1 qualifiers to come, this fixture will have a huge bearing on who tops Pool A.
ENGLAND V ARGENTINA, POOL D, 9 SEPTEMBER, STADE VÉLODROME
RWC 2019 finalists England will make their entrance into France 2023 against Argentina in Marseille, on a blockbuster second day of the tournament. Los Pumas failed to make the quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years in Japan, and Mario Ladesma’s team will be keen to show that was only a hiccup.
Only two of Argentina, England and Japan will be able to progress to the last eight, however, placing huge significance on the fixtures between those three teams. Whoever wins this meeting in the south of France will take a large stride towards qualification for the knockout stage.
England and Argentina have met three times to date at Rugby World Cup, with the former winning on each occasion. The sides’ most recent meeting came in Pool C of RWC 2019, with Eddie Jones’ side beating Los Pumas 39-10 at Tokyo Stadium.
SOUTH AFRICA V IRELAND, POOL B, 23 SEPTEMBER, STADE DE FRANCE
Defending champions South Africa open their RWC 2023 campaign against Scotland on the opening weekend, and whatever the result in Marseille there will be a lot riding on the Springboks’ date with Ireland 13 days later. All three teams will have ambitions extending beyond the pool stage, placing extra importance on the matches between them.
This match at Stade de France will be something of a step into the unknown for both teams as Ireland has never faced South Africa at Rugby World Cup. The Springboks hold the upper hand in the fixture, having won 18 of the 26 tests contested by the sides.
Another victory on the outskirts of Paris could give them the upper hand in the battle to top Pool B. Ireland, meanwhile, will know that their RWC 2023 destiny should still be in their hands regardless of the result against South Africa, given they are due to play Scotland on the final weekend of the pool stage — source: World Rugby