RWC 2023 – Match 1

France v NZ Lineups and Stats

Kickoff noon PT on Friday September 8th, televised on TSN 5.

New Zealand

Fly-half Richie Mo’unga will win his 50th cap after being named in the New Zealand team to face France in the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2023 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Friday.

1 Ethan de Groot
2 Codie Taylor
3 Nepo Laulala
4 Samuel Whitelock
5 Scott Barrett
6 Dalton Papali’i
7 Sam Cane (c)
8 Ardie Savea
9 Aaron Smith
10 Richie Mo’unga
11 Mark Telea
12 Anton Lienert-Brown
13 Rieko Ioane
14 Will Jordan
15 Beauden Barrett


16 Samisoni Taukei’aho
17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi
18 Fletcher Newell
19 Tupou Vaa’i
20 Luke Jacobson
21 Finlay Christie
22 David Havili
23 Leicester Fainga’anuku

• Head coach Ian Foster has named 12 survivors in his match-day 23 from the last time they played France in 2021.
• Sam Whitelock will play his 20th Rugby World Cup test, he trails only England’s Jason Leonard and New Zealand’s Richie McCaw who share the all-time appearance record with 22 matches.
• Richie Mo’unga will earn his 50th cap for New Zealand after making his debut off the bench against France in Dunedin in 2018.
• Nepo Laulala will earn his 50th cap for New Zealand after making his debut against Samoa in 2015. This will be his second start of 2023 after playing three of his four games off the bench.
• New Zealand have already had 16 different try-scorers this season across five tests played, with only Will Jordan, Aaron Smith, Rieko Ioane and Shannon Frizell crossing on more than one occasion.
• Jordan has scored 23 tries in 25 tests since making his All Blacks debut in 2020. He is still chasing his first career try against France after playing 51 minutes in Paris in 2021 without scoring.


France have named Yoram Moefana to start at inside-centre in place of Jonathan Danty, who is recovering from a leg injury, in their match-day 23 to play New Zealand in the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2023 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Friday.

1 Reda Wardi
2 Julien Marchand
3 Uini Atonio
4 Cameron Woki
5 Thibaud Flament
6 François Cros
7 Charles Ollivon
8 Gregory Alldritt
9 Antoine Dupont
10 Matthieu Jalibert
11 Gabin Villiere
12 Yoram Moefana
13 Gaël Fickou
14 Damian Penaud
15 Thomas Ramos


16 Peato Mauvaka
17 Jean-Baptiste Gros
18 Dorian Aldegheri
19 Romain Taofifenua
20 Paul Boudehent
21 Maxime Lucu
22 Arthur Vincent
23 Melvyn Jaminet

• There are 13 survivors in the match-day 23 from the side which beat New Zealand 40-25 in 2021, including two of their three try-scorers that day – Damian Penaud and Peato Mauvaka.
• France captain Antoine Dupont will play his 50th career test, becoming the sixth scrum-half to achieve the milestone for Les Bleus.
• After 17 tests as captain, Dupont is yet to lose a match on home soil as skipper, winning all 12. His only loss as captain came against Ireland earlier this year in Dublin.
• Dupont will be looking to become the first scrum-half captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup since Australia’s Nick Farr-Jones at Twickenham in 1991.
• Damian Penaud has scored a try in his last four tests, the best run of his career, and is Les Bleus’ leading try-scorer this year with eight.
• Gaël Fickou, playing in his third Rugby World Cup, will play his seventh test against the All Blacks, 10 years after his first against them at this venue.
• Fickou is the most capped player in the match-day 23 with 81 tests, and joins Imanol Harinordoquy and Louis Picamoles as the 10th most capped player of all-time for France.

Posted in World Rugby.