Rugby World Cup 2015: New Zealand vs France kick off time, prediction and preview IBTimes UK

In a repeat of the 2011 final, New Zealand collide with France for a place in the final four at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Where to watch

New Zealand v France is available live on ITV HD with kick off scheduled for 8pm BST. Live coverage is also available through BBC Radio 5 Live.


As defending champions, it is safe to assume every team in this competition was eager to avoid New Zealand. But the All Blacks have not always had it their own way against Saturday's opponents. Their somewhat chequered history against Les Blues has seen them fall twice to them in this competition in the past: at the semi-final stage in 1999 and again in 2007 in the quarter-finals in the same venue where today's clash takes place.

But while there is a certain hoodoo for New Zealand and this fixture, the upsets they have suffered have been made up for with moments of jubilation, namely their victory over France in the final of the last installment of this competition in 2011 – albeit by the slimmest margin in the history of the competition.

New Zealand will also be emboldened even further by suggestions of an insurrection of sorts taking place in the French camp. Reports in French newspaper L'obs Sport have claimed players have taken it upon themselves to rebel against coach Philippe Saint-Andre, suggesting senior players were now overseeing team selection.

Reports of dissent amongst the ranks have marred France's build-up for Saturday's match. Getty

France skipper Thierry Dusautoir was quick to dismiss those claims but if they are to stand a chance of inflicting another famous defeat on the All Blacks, avoiding a revolt is probably the way to go.

As for the team news, New Zealand centre Ma'a Nonu, who celebrated his 100th Test cap last time out against Tonga, retains his place with flanker Richie McCaw returning to the starting XV after recovering from a minor injury.

Saint-Andre has made three changes to the side that lost to Ireland, with Morgan Parra coming in at scrum-half and Mathieu Bastareaud making way for Alexandre Dumoulin. The final change sees flanker Bernard Le Roux coming in for Damien Chouly.

Rugby World Cup 2015: New Zealand vs France kick off time, prediction and preview IBTimes UK


New Zealand: Ben Smith; Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea; Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (capt), Kieran Read

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Joe Moody, Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams

France: Scott Spedding; Noa Nakaitaci, Alexandre Dumoulin, Wesley Fofana, Brice Dulin; Frederic Michalak, Morgan Parra; Eddy Ben Arous, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani, Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Bernard Le Roux, Louis Picamoles

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vincent Debaty, Nicolas Mas, Damien Chouly, Yannick Nyanga, Rory Kockott, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud

What the coaches said

New Zealand's Steve Hansen: "France have always had great athletes. Their game was built around flair in the backs and real physicality up front. I'm not sure it's the same flair they have now. The Top 14 has become quite a dour competition with a lot of physicality and I know they are trying to recapture the flair which is within them. You can see it when they let loose and we expect them to show it on Saturday.

"A lot of the guys picked themselves and it was about getting the right 23. There are not many bigger challenges than playing France and the job this week for me has been keeping the lid on things. It is about building for the weekend: Sunday to Friday are work days, Saturday is the fun part of the week."

France's Philippe Saint-Andre: "Alexandre [Dumoulin] has a lot of qualities, among others his ability to keep the ball alive. He is efficient in his movements on the pitch and he is a very good defender. With Mathieu [Bastareaud] starting on the bench, we have a good impact player.

"I expect him [Le Roux] to go forward because he has a strong impact. I want him to be the first one on the clear outs and to be strong in the breakdown."