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Rugby World Cup 2019: France expected to breeze past USA amid expected typhoon

19   //    01 Oct 2019, 23:07 IST

France v Argentina - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group C
France v Argentina - Rugby World Cup 2019: Group C

France and the USA are set to face off in a Pool C game in Fukuoka on Wednesday amid reports of an approaching typhoon.

Les Bleus opened their Rugby World Cup 2019 account with a narrow 23-21 victory over Argentina. They would have lost the game had it not been for a last minute penalty miss from Emiliano Boffelli.

The USA suffered a heavy 45-7 defeat to England in a one-sided game that somewhat flattered the Red Rose. The Eagles managed to score a try but are not expected to progress past the Pools. A win for the French will send them, temporarily at least, to second place ahead of Argentina who face leaders England on Saturday.

Together with England, France are favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, but a strong showing from Argentina in their opening game may suggest otherwise. Along with Tonga, the USA are yet to put a single point on the board. They would spring no surprises if this were to be the case after all four matches have been played.

France will surely see this fixture as an expected win and Head Coach Jacques Brunel seems to be placing emphasis on their pivotal match with England on Saturday 12th.

Key Talking Points: France

  • Jacques Brunel has made 12 changes to the starting XV that squeezed out a close victory over Argentina. This suggests that the narrow win was unsatisfactory, or the French are saving their big guns for England.
  • France have never been eliminated at the Pool stage and drastic starting XV changes have proved to have no bearing on securing the win. In 2015 they won all of their Pool matches despite making drastic changes after each game.
  • France have made it to the final of the competition three times in their history. 1987, 1999 and eight years ago in 2011 when they were beaten by the All Blacks. They have qualified for every edition of the tournament.

Key Talking Points: USA

  • The Eagles most notable result in recent years was a very near 30-29 loss to Scotland back in 2017. It seems they are able to hold their own against top tier opposition from time to time.
  • The USA will be without Paul Lasike at centre due to a thigh injury.
  • The weather may play into the hands of the USA as France are expected to play a very forward based game. In slippery conditions they may be prone to handling errors which the Eagles should be ready to pounce on.