France building for All Blacks and 2023 Rugby World Cup

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Villepreux, one of the great fullbacks of the world game and a former coach of the French side, made his comments in Midi Olympique when comparing France's development to what he had seen during the Fortinet Rugby Championship.


France is set to host the All Blacks on November 21 (NZT).


Villepreux said that under coach Fabien Galthié the French had developed impressive depth. The Top 14 competition prepared players well for Test rugby while many of their best players had emerged through their successful Under-20 team and had acquired a 'culture of winning'.


That would be essential if they were to claim their first World Cup.


Many of the players had in them the ability to play the best type of rugby.


"I hope that the World Cup will reveal their values with the choice of game that will meet expectations," he said.


That would involve playing a style that relished using the ball and allowing the team to play with emotion and intelligence.



The Test for the Dave Gallaher Trophy would be another measure of how France was progressing.


New Zealand's win of the Rugby Championship reflected their ability to achieve their game plan while playing with the freedom to get out of tough situations.


The All Blacks' capacity for invention and adaptation, was matched by an allowance to express themselves.


"Each year, new players appear without affecting the overall ability to play the same style. New Zealanders, from the youngest to the best, understand the game style.


"It is not by chance that European coaches go to this country to penetrate the 'secrets' that allow this nation to remain consistently at the top of the rankings," he said.


There was also a capacity to learn from losses. The All Blacks were able, as individuals, to exploit opportunities as they arose and draw quick support from teammates to get momentum and to take advantage and catch opponents off guard.


By comparison, Australia was still a side under construction but was shaping as competitive in 2023. Yet, it still lacked the playing leadership the All Blacks enjoyed.


Argentina was in trouble but was missing the players who gave charisma to their game.


Villepreux joined the critics of South Africa's style and said while their game utilised their physical strength, their desire to win by any means and not be concerned about the quality of their play was not good for those watching.


The All Blacks take on France for the Dave Gallaher Trophy at 9am on Sunday 21 November NZT.


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