"We will have the best team in the world in front of us" - Fabien Galthie

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That's the view of South African rugby writer Gavin Rich in Business Day.

He said, "The London destruction of the New Zealand eight showed just how superior the SA big men are."

Rich said when New Zealand won the Rugby Championship game at Mt Smart, several of the Bok players were having their first Test of the season, whereas many of the All Blacks had played a week earlier against Argentina.

That situation was reversed in London, with many of the first-choice All Blacks being rested against Australia in Dunedin, meaning they hadn't played since July 30 when meeting the Springboks.

"As was shown in Mbombela 12 months ago, the Bok forwards are just too powerful for the All Blacks. Even when Scott Barrett was still on the field, the chasm between the two packs was just too large at Twickenham.

"Of course, you can never completely write off the All Blacks in a one-off game. That was demonstrated in Johannesburg last year.

"They have too much individual talent. But what happened at Twickenham was in a sense telegraphed in the last hour in the Auckland game. Their fast start meant New Zealand were too far ahead to be caught after the first 20 minutes, but the Boks were the dominant team after that."

France, however, is not as confident, at least outwardly.

Prop Dorian Aldegheri said the All Blacks' loss was not good news.

First five-eighths Matthieu Jalibert told L'Equipe, "They are bound to be revengeful against us and want to show an improvement. Especially since we beat them here in November 2021."

Flanker Charles Ollivon said: "Don't worry about them...Everyone knows the quality of these players, the coaches, this mythical team. They will be ready."

Wing Gabin Villiers said the loss meant nothing. "We remember that they had also beaten South Africa a few weeks before. Anything is possible."

Coach Fabien Galthie said: "It is difficult to just a warm-up game. What we saw on Friday night was impressive. But it is difficult to judge what the psychological preparation of the All Blacks was for this match and difficult to draw lessons.

"What I do know is that the New Zealanders have just won their competition, the Rugby Championship. That they had 11 wins in a row in Tests, not warm-up games. For us, the New Zealanders remain the All Blacks, triple winners of the World Cup and multiple winners of the Four Nations. Since rugby has existed, they have been the best team in the world. So, on September 8, we will have the best team in the world in front of us. Without the slightest doubt."

Naming the Rugby World Cup pools in December 2020 unleashed a storm of criticism because it was regarded as being too far out from the event while not allowing later form to be considered.

A comparison between the pools announced then and based on what they would look like now has been made by sarugbymag.co.za.


Pools based on today's rankings:

Pool A: South Africa (2), Fiji (7), Japan (14), Uruguay (17), Namibia (21).

Pool B: Ireland (1), Scotland (5), Australia (9), Tonga (15), Romania (19).

Pool C: New Zealand (4), Argentina (6), Italy (13), Georgia (11), Portugal (16).

Pool D: France (3), England (8), Wales (10), Samoa (12), Chile (22).


Pools drawn in December 2020:

Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia.

Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Romania.

Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Portugal.

Pool D: England, Argentina, Japan, Samoa, Chile.


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