International Rugby: France v Japan Preview

France will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to the Springboks when they take on Japan this Saturday.

They may have secured the 2023 World Cup last week but France's horror showing against the 'Boks shows they still have a long way to go if they are to have any chance of winning the Webb Ellis Trophy on home soil. The 2023 World Cup hosts were horrendously off the boil and will need a massive response here if they are to avoid embarrassment as the Japanese will come into this one full of confidence after hammering the Tongans last week.

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France v Japan | Saturday 25 November | U Arena | 21:45

To Win (80 Mins)
France 1/20 | Draw 35/1 | Japan 8/1
France (-19.5) 9/10 | Japan (+19.5) 9/10

After a solid showing against the All Blacks, many expected the French to run a struggling Springbok outfit ragged last weekend. Instead, Le Bleu produced a dreadful game of rugby that saw a borage of  handling errors. Guy Noves' charges got sucked into a forward orientated game against the Springboks. And while Noves ' men almost managed to sneak a win, they probably would have run out comfortable victors had they been a bit more expansive on attack.

After that 17-18 defeat to the 'Boks, the French will be looking to bounce back in style. And while a date with Japan would generally offer the ideal fixture to do this, the hosts can't take anything for granted as their opponents are on a massive high after downing Tonga last week. The French are also likely to field a more experimental side which may mean it takes them a bit more time to click and settle into the match.

After a year of stagnation, the Japanese finally showed just how good they can be by smashing the Tongans 39-6. The victory was spearheaded by fly-half Yu, Tumura, who was absolutely deadly in front of goal and marshalled his backline extremely well. He will need to be on top form again if Japan are to have any chance of upsetting the apple cart.

It will be interesting to see how Japan approach this match. Their forward pack  is capable of mixing it with the best at both ruck time and at the set piece. As always, they're likely to commit only a few defenders to most breakdowns, opting to keep a solid defensive line intact.

Verdict: Japan (+19.5) 9/10
I quite fancy Japan to stay within a 20 point line. The French are likely to struggle off the bat due to Noves fielding experimental combinations and a few fringe players. If the Japanese can keep things tight until the 60th minute, then I cannot see France clearing what is a big margin.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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