Containing two of the favourites to go all the way at the 2023 World Cup, there will be plenty of interest in how Pool A plays out over the coming weeks.
|What||Pool A, 2023 Rugby World Cup|
|Where||Various venues across France|
|When||Friday 8th September - Friday 6th October, 2023|
|How to watch||ITV|
|Odds||Pool A - New Zealand 10/11, France 10/11, Italy 66/1, Namibia 1500/1, Uruguay 1500/1|
A nation that has been runners-up at three previous World Cups, perhaps this is the year France finally get their hands on the elusive Webb Ellis Cup.
Losing finalists in 1987, 1999 and 2011, Les Bleus have dealt with their fair share of World Cup heartbreak over the years.
However, with a side packed with superstars from the Top14, there’s plenty of excitement about what this French side might be able to achieve this year.
It’s a mouthwatering start to Pool A and the tournament as the two heavyweights of the group go head-to-head at the Stade de France on Friday night.
France are the slight favourites at 10/11 to claim the victory in the 80 minutes in the capital, while New Zealand are available at to spoil the party in Paris.
You have to feel for any side featuring in Pool A outside of France and New Zealand as they all face a mighty battle on their hands to reach the quarter-finals.
Italy have shown some signs of progress in the Six Nations over recent years but are still behind the other five sides in the competition.
Capable of causing the odd upset in the Six Nations, the Azzurri will need to produce one of the greatest results in their history to stand a chance of finishing in the top two.
Italy, who should at least finish best of the rest behind France and New Zealand, begin their World Cup campaign with an encounter against Namibia on 9th September.
The Azzurri are 10/11 to win with a -31.5 Handicap for this clash in Saint-Etienne.
Ranked down at 21 in the world rankings, Namibia face a daunting task against the likes of France, New Zealand and Italy.
Namibia have been in the pool stages in six previous tournaments, but the African nation have never managed to reach the quarter-finals.
In such a difficult group, it’s hard to see the Welwitschias going past the pool stage this time, but they will be targeting games against the likes of Italy and Uruguay for upsets.
Once again the favourites going into the tournament, big things are expected of New Zealand heading into this World Cup.
New Zealand were given a shock last time out in a 35-7 defeat to South Africa at Twickenham in a warm-up game.
That result might have just given the All Blacks the shock they needed to focus minds after they cruised to the Rugby Championship title this year.
It will be interesting to see how they respond, and they can give their critics a timely reminder of their abilities if they can come out on top in the intriguing opener against France.
Featuring at four previous World Cups, Uruguay are back and looking to cause some upsets at this upcoming tournament.
Uruguay secured one of the best results in their history in the last World Cup in 2019, as they secured a 30-27 win over Fiji in Japan.
Much like Italy and Namibia, Uruguay will be looking to finish best of the rest, with Les Bleus and the All Blacks set to dominate.
|8th September 2023||France||New Zealand||Stade de France, Saint-Denis|
|9th September 2023||Italy||Namibia||Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne|
|14th September 2023||France||Uruguay||Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille|
|15th September 2023||New Zealand||Namibia||Allianz Riviera, Nice|
|20th September 2023||Italy||Uruguay||Stade Velodrome, Marseille|
|21st September 2023||France||Namibia||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines-Charpieu|
|27th September 2023||Uruguay||Namibia||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines-Charpieu|
|29th September 2023||New Zealand||Italy||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines-Charpieu|
|5th October 2023||New Zealand||Uruguay||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines-Charpieu|
|6th October 2023||France||Italy||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines-Charpieu|