France wrap up their Autumn Internationals program – also knows as the Autumn Nations Series – with a mouth-watering clash against the All Blacks at the Stade de France. This is arguably the clash of the whole November Test series.
When is it?
Saturday, November 20.
What time is kick-off?
What TV channel is it on?
Amazon Prime Video will be streaming all France’s games.
What is the latest team news?
France have named nine uncapped players in their squad for the Autumn Internationals, alongside familiar faces such as half-backs Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.
Camille Chat, Pierre-Louis Barassi and Teddy Thomas all miss out through injury, as does Charles Ollivon, who captained France in the Six Nations.
Forwards: Gregory Alldritt, Anthony Jelonch, Cameron Woki, Dylan Cretin, Francois Cros, Sekou Macalou, Ibrahim Diallo, Paul Willemse, Bernard Le Roux, Romain Taofifenua, Thibaud Flament, Killian Geraci, Florent Vanverberghe, Florian Verhaeghe, Demba Bamba, Wilfrid Hounkpatin, Uini Atonio, Julian Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Gaetan Barlot, Cyril Baille, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Thierry Paiva.
Backs: Romain Buros, Brice Dul in, Melvyn Jaminet, Thomas Ramos, Gabin Villiere, Damian Penaud, Matthis Lebel, Donovan Taofifenua, Gael Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Yoram Moefana, Jonathan Danty, Tani Vili, Romain Ntamack, Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Hastoy, Antoine Dupont, Baptiste Couilloud, Maxime Lucu.
Uncapped lock Josh Lord has been called into the All Blacks squad for their upcoming end-of-year tour.
Lord’s addition to the squad means he will be able to provide cover in the second row, where stocks have been depleted due to the departures of Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu.
All Blacks squad
Forwards: Asafo Aumua, Ethan Blackadder, George Bower, Sam Cane, Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot, Shannon Frizell, Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Josh Lord, Joe Moody, Dalton Papalii, Brodie Retallick, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu, Angus Ta’avao, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Codie Taylor, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock
Backs: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Finlay Christie, Braydon Ennor, David Havili, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan, Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, TJ Perenara, Sevu Reece, Quinn Tupaea, Brad Weber.
What are Telegraph writers saying?
Over a weekend of sporting thrashings, when Liverpool trounced Manchester United 5-0 and Pakistan pumped India by 10 wickets in cricket’s 20-over World Cup, the All Blacks were in a ruthless mood at FedEx Field, writes our senior rugby writer Charlie Morgan.
Because a money-spinning meeting against USA Eagles took place outside of World Rugby’s designated November window for internationals, the hosts could not field players from European clubs. That meant fly-half AJ MacGinty, who was injured anyway, scrum-half Ruben de Haas, try-scoring front-rower Joe Taufete’e and others were absent.
Despite selecting a number of fairly inexperienced internationals, New Zealand duly racked up 16 tries during a massacre that ended 104-14. Few meaningful conclusions could be drawn, as many have pointed out. But the All Blacks are historically severe when it comes to these mismatches.
They have now amassed a century of points four times in Test matches, passing 80 on 11 occasions. The USA thrashing represented their 39th win by 50 points or more from a total of 607 Tests. By comparison, England boast 18 wins of 50 points or more from 758 Tests.
Clearly, facing top Test sides is completely different. Still, how often do New Zealand pull away from elite opponents with a decisive try or a series of tries in a short blitz? It is rare that they are disrupted and dragged down to the level of inferior teams.
With that in mind, even though their win over USA was unfulfilling as a contest, some principles of New Zealand’s clinical attack can be translated to tighter games.
What are the odds?
What is our prediction?
This fixture always captures the imagination simpy because you have to expect the unexpected. France always go in as underdogs and, in true France fashion, turn on the style. This time it is different, though, because Les Bleus are not underdogs. At least, not like they have been in the past. France are now arguably the best team in the northern hemisphere and their strength in depth rivals that of New Zealand. This could be a cracker!
Predicted score: France 35 New Zealand 31