battle of the backs, footwork and dance in the rain

It's today

The English train on October 25 in Yokohama before the shock against the All Blacks Saturday. AARON FAVILA / AP
  • England – New Zealand (10 hours)

The poster makes you dream. New Zealand, the three-time world champion and defending champion, faces England, back to the top, after her knockout in the first round of her World Cup four years ago. Since then, under the aegis of his coach Eddie Jones, the XV of the Rose has taken colors and is among the best nations in the world.

Both teams are in first and second place in the World Rugby standings and are the only two on the international scene with more than 80% victories. They have each established, since 2015, a record series of 18 victories in a row. Nobody did better in the story.

Their last clash was in November 2018 and the All Blacks had won on the wire, 16 to 15. If they have the advantage in World Cup (3 wins on 3 games) and in general (33 wins against 7 for the English and 1 draw), we strongly advise you to turn on your TV, because it will be a semi-final of very high flight.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Rugby World Cup 2019: in Japan, this year, rugby has not lost the North



This is the number of tries that Jonah Lomu had scored in the semi-final between the All Blacks and England at the World Cup in 1995. New Zealand had pulverized the English, thanks to the extraordinary performance of the winger (45-29).

Each of his accomplishments is historic, but remains especially remembered in the one where he knocked down, like a bowling pin by a bowling ball, the poor Mike Catt. We remake them all, for pleasure …

It's out of luck

Welsh back Liam Williams celebrates victory over France in the quarter-finals. He will unfortunately be absent for the last two games of his team, injured his ankle.
Welsh back Liam Williams celebrates victory over France in the quarter-finals. He will unfortunately be absent for the last two games of his team, injured his ankle. EDGAR SU / REUTERS

Wales's Liam Williams (28, 62 caps), considered one of the best rinks in the world, has dropped out for the end of the World Cup, injured his ankle during training this week. He will be out for the semifinal on Sunday against South Africa in Yokohama and will be replaced by Leigh Halfpenny.

"It's definitely a big loss offensively, and compared to everything he's done in recent years. He's a world class player, " responded coach Warren Gatland. "But having someone like Leigh Halfpenny play with you will bring us something different. We had hesitated for a long time to start it and to drag Liam to the back ", he chained.

Leigh Halfpenny (30 years old, 84 caps) is considered one of the best defenders on the planet. "So yes, there is change, but I do not think it weakens us", concluded the coach.

Two other changes were made in the starting XV against the quarter-final won against France (20-19): Ross Moriarty replaces third-center center Josh Navidi, injured a thigh against the Blues, and Jonathan Davies returns to his second center spot.

It is said

"What's remarkable about this group of players is how important this red jersey is to them. They know how lucky they are to represent Wales. For my part, I ask them the question to which they are the only ones qualified to answer: when they leave the field, victory or defeat, can they look in the mirror and say that they have done all they have could ? If we can reach the final of the World Cup with the small number of players we have, I think we can talk about exploit. "

Warren Gatland, the coach of Wales, came back in an interview at The Team on the course of XV leek in this World Cup and on the progression of his players, confident that they had "Constantly feel boxing against the category above(them) ". He pointed out that Wales had only a small pool of players and only four professional teams across the country. Reaching the finale would be in his words "Honestly incredible".

But before the final, Wales will have to pass by a success against South Africa Sunday (10 hours). The men of Warren Gatland have so far accomplished a perfect course: the first of their pool, in front of Australia, they were patient and strategic to steal the victory to France in the quarter-finals (19-20). Six Nations Grand Slam Authors this year, the Welsh were also ranked first in the world just before they left for Japan.

Even if they do not reach the final, the coach Warren Gatland, who spent twelve years at the head of this team and who lives there his last two games, is more than satisfied with the performance of his players: "The thing I'm most proud of is that we have earned the respect of the world today. I'm not sure that was the case before. "

It says (also)

In an interview given to Olympic midday, the captain of the Blues Guilhem Guirado returned to his World Cup and paid tribute to Guy Novès, the former coach of the France team, fired at the end of 2017: "At first, he really impressed me. I remember some press conferences at his side where I was not super comfortable. Today, I can tell you that it was exceptional with Guy Novès. I built myself as a captain thanks to him. He gave me a lot of confidence, which was important in my role. "

It's seen

Because it takes a little sweetness in this world of brutes:

If we had been told that Sevu Reece was a talented tenor, able to interpret "Raining" Six60, we would not have believed it.

It's bonus

And to stay in the theme, a little photo-finish: "It's raining men! "

New Zealander Samuel Whitelock trains in the rain on October 25th.
New Zealander Samuel Whitelock trains in the rain on October 25th. PETER CZIBORRA / ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here