As we dive headfirst into the second week of the Rugby World Cup 2023, the excitement is palpable. The first week delivered a smorgasbord of skill, drama, and talking points that left fans hungry for more. After a brief three-day hiatus to catch our collective breath, the tournament roars back to life with a tantalizing lineup of matches. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect in this action-packed week.
Thursday: France vs. Uruguay
The week kicks off with a clash between hosts France and Uruguay in Lille. France, riding high on the euphoria of their stunning 27-13 victory over the mighty All Blacks, are heavy favorites. Despite making 12 changes to their lineup, the French team’s confidence is sky-high. One name to watch for in this match is the fleet-footed 20-year-old French wing, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, set to become the youngest player to represent France at the World Cup. With his recent Test debut marked by a try, he’s poised for a bright future.
Friday: New Zealand vs. Namibia
New Zealand, perennial World Cup heavyweights, are eager to bounce back from their unexpected opening loss to France. They face Namibia, a team that has yet to secure a victory in their 23 World Cup games since their debut in 1999. If the All Blacks emerge victorious, they’ll reach a milestone of 50 World Cup wins. The key player to keep an eye on is New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock, who’s set to join the illustrious Richie McCaw as the most-capped All Black, with 148 Test appearances.
Saturday: Samoa vs. Chile and Wales vs. Portugal
On Saturday, Samoa makes its first appearance in this World Cup, facing off against tournament debutants Chile. While Samoa is not expected to reach the quarter-finals, they remain the favorites in this encounter. One highlight of the day will be Samoa’s pre-match Siva Tau dance, a traditional display of their rich culture.
Wales, fresh from their win against Fiji, takes on Portugal in what should be a thrilling clash. Expect Wales to bring their attacking prowess to the forefront. Co-captain Dewi Lake’s return from a knee injury adds to the excitement, and fly-half Gareth Anscombe’s return after nearly a year promises to spice up their offense.
Sunday: Ireland vs. Tonga and South Africa vs. Romania
World number one side Ireland continues its dominant run, aiming for a 15th consecutive win against Tonga. However, Tonga, boasting an impressive lineup featuring former All Blacks and Wallabies, is not to be underestimated. The traditional Tongan Sipi Tau before the game will undoubtedly set the stage for a fierce battle.
Defending champions South Africa, fresh from their win over Scotland, face Romania. While the outcome seems predictable, the highlight of the day might be the “Manie Libbok no-look kick/pass,” a piece of rugby magic that created one of the memorable tries in the opening round.
Sunday: Australia vs. Fiji and England vs. Japan
Fiji, tantalizingly close to an upset against Wales, faces Australia in a match that could determine their quarter-final prospects. Keep an eye on Aussie wing Mark Nawaqanitawase, who showcased his scoring prowess in the win over Georgia.
England, after a professional performance against Argentina, looks to continue its winning streak against Japan. Billy Vunipola’s return to the side adds to the intrigue, as he seeks to make his mark in the tournament.
The second week of the Rugby World Cup 2023 promises to be an exhilarating ride, with each match holding the potential for surprises and outstanding moments. So, gear up, grab your jerseys, and get ready to cheer for your favorite teams in this thrilling sporting spectacle!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rugby World Cup 2023
Q: When does the second week of the Rugby World Cup 2023 start?
A: The second week of the Rugby World Cup 2023 starts on Thursday with the first match featuring France vs. Uruguay.
Q: Which team is the favorite in the France vs. Uruguay match?
A: France is the heavy favorite in the France vs. Uruguay match, especially after their impressive win over New Zealand in the opening week.
Q: Who is the youngest player to represent France at the World Cup in 2023?
A: The youngest player to represent France at the World Cup in 2023 is Louis Bielle-Biarrey, a 20-year-old wing.
Q: What milestone can New Zealand achieve if they win their match against Namibia?
A: If New Zealand wins their match against Namibia, they will achieve a milestone of 50 wins in World Cup history.
Q: Which player is set to join Richie McCaw as the most-capped All Black?
A: New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock is set to join Richie McCaw as the most-capped All Black with his 148th Test appearance.
Q: Which traditional dance will Samoa perform for the first time at France 2023?
A: Samoa will perform their pre-match Siva Tau dance for the first time at France 2023.
Q: Who is expected to lead the Welsh side in their match against Portugal?
A: Co-captain and hooker Dewi Lake is expected to lead the Welsh side in their match against Portugal.
Q: What is Tonga’s class of 2023 notable for?
A: Tonga’s class of 2023 includes former All Blacks and Wallabies players, making them a formidable opponent in the tournament.
Q: What’s the significance of the “Manie Libbok no-look kick/pass” mentioned in the text?
A: The “Manie Libbok no-look kick/pass” was a remarkable play that led to one of the memorable tries in the opening round of the tournament.
Q: Who is the player to watch in the Australia vs. Fiji match?
A: Aussie wing Mark Nawaqanitawase is the player to watch in the Australia vs. Fiji match, known for his balanced running and finishing skills.
Q: Who is expected to return to the England side in their match against Japan?
A: England’s Billy Vunipola is expected to return to the side for their match against Japan after serving a suspension.
More about Rugby World Cup 2023
- Rugby World Cup 2023 Official Website
- BBC Sport Rugby World Cup Coverage
- Rugby World Cup 2023 Fixtures and Results
- Louis Bielle-Biarrey – Youngest Player for France
- Sam Whitelock – Most-Capped All Black
- Tonga’s Star-Studded Lineup
- Manie Libbok’s Spectacular Play
- Mark Nawaqanitawase’s Try-Scoring Feats
- Billy Vunipola’s Return to England Squad