01 min. – Forward to France:
On Hastoy’s kick-off, Villière recovers the ball, but it is after a forward from Macalou! The first scrum will take place on the Uruguayan 22 meter line, completely on the left.
01 min. :
Let’s go on the pitch of the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve-d’Ascq between France and Uruguay! Mr. Ben O’Keeffe, the New Zealand referee for this match, has just whistled the kick-off, given by the Beus.
In a few minutes, at 20 years and 87 days, Bielle-Biarrey will become the youngest French player to participate in a World Cup!
On the whistle this Thursday evening, we will find the New Zealander Mr. Ben O’Keeffe! Until now, the trained ophthalmologist has refereed France nine times, with four victories, including that against the United States during the 2019 World Cup, and five French defeats.
In six matches played in the Lille metropolis, the XV of France has always won: against Romania in 1986, Argentina in 1988 and Australia in 1989 at the Stadium Nord and against Argentina at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in 2012 and 2018.
If this meeting is the first official one between France and Uruguay, the two teams have already played each other twice in the past: it was in 1960 and 1985 during South American tours with two big French victories.
Arata is preparing to play his first match for Uruguay since the November 2021 meeting against the United States. The Castres scrum-half was one of four Uruguayans to score tries for the Teros at the 2019 World Cup: against Fiji at Kamaishi, he beat three defenders before completing a 40-yard scramble into the net. -aim.
Agustin Ormaechea’s father, Diego, remains the oldest player to have played a match in the World Cup: he was actually 40 years and 26 days old when he faced South Africa in Glasgow during the 1999 edition !
Captain Vilaseca and Ormaechea are set to become the first Uruguayans to play in three editions of the World Cup: they will also set a record for appearances in the competition with this ninth appearance.
Five of the 23 Uruguayan players selected for this match play in France: Arata plays in Castres, Freitas and Vilaseca in Vannes, Leindekar in Bayonne and Ormaechea in Nice.
Ramos, a substitute against Uruguay, has scored fourteen points or more in each of his last eleven games since the November 2022 face-off against Australia. He scored seventeen points per game in 2023 and has not missed more than two penalties in a single game this season.
For his seventeenth selection, Lucu, who made his international debut in 2021, is started for the fifth time in his career. This is only the second time he has played in the starting XV alongside fly-half Hastoy, following a match against Fiji in preparation last month.
It was after a victory over the United States (19-16 defeat in the first leg, 34-15 victory in the return) that Uruguay managed, in October 2021, to punch its ticket for the 2023 World Cup. For the moment, in fifteen matches played in the competition, the Teros have won three: in 1999 against Spain, in 2003 against Georgia and in 2019 against Fiji. All for 188 points scored and 718 conceded.
This year, Fabien Galthié’s France is on a mission. Three times finalist in the competition (1987, 1999, 2011), the French XV are indeed aiming for the supreme coronation at home: if this were to be the case at the end of October, the Blues would become the second European nation to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy after England in 2003.