Beauden Barrett, the New Zealand fullback, anticipates that France will have an « advantage » due to the support of the crowd in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup, where the host country will face the All Blacks on Friday at Stade de France.
« I cannot reword »
This was France’s first victory over the All Blacks since 2009, following a series of 14 New Zealand successes, including the one recorded in the final of the 2011 World Cup. « Here (at the Stade de France), it’s really special, I had never seen an atmosphere like this, » said New Zealand coach Ian Foster at the time.
« We have been eagerly anticipating this match, just like the French. »
« Over the past few years, we have learned a lot, » highlighted Barrett on Wednesday, who has 116 selections. « In particular, the way the French organize an event, in terms of atmosphere, support for their team, announcements on the field, performances, it’s like a spectacle, » the Blues star estimated. « The French have been waiting for this match for a long time, but so have we, » he added.
On Friday, the player who can also play at the beginning will face the number 10 of the French team, Matthieu Jalibert, who replaced Romain Ntamack, unable to participate in the World Cup due to a left knee ligament rupture in August. « I believe he is an amazing player. He possesses great talent and flair, » Barrett stated regarding Jalibert.
« Il est sous notre surveillance, Ntamack, Dupont et le reste de l’équipe, depuis de nombreuses années. » « En ce qui concerne Jalibert, il est vraiment compétitif parmi les meilleurs numéros 10 du monde, donc il sera intégré directement », a-t-il confirmé.
A lire aussi : Coupe du monde 2023 : All Blacks, un mythe intact mais une équipe qui dégringole avant de défier les Bleus