France vs Canada preview - Rugby World Cup 2015: What time does it start, what channel is it on and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to the Pool D fixture at Stadium MK

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The toughest game so far for Le Bleus facing the only team that may understand their lineout calls.

It’s a big game for…

Aaron Carpenter, Brett Beukeboom, Kyle Gilmour, Richard Thorpe, Phil Mack and Nick Blevins: All six of these players are making their Canada debut this week and will be hoping to impress themselves on the Canadian selectors. 

Also worth a mention is Frederic Michalak who requires just three points to surpass Thierry Lecroix as the leading French points scorer in the World Cup. 


France: Scott Spedding; Remy Grosso, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Brice Dulin; Frederic Michalak, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Damien Chouly, Bernard Le Roux, Thierry Dusautoir; Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape; Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado, Eddy Ben Arous.

Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Vincent Debaty, Nicolas Mas, Yannick Nyanga, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Morgan Parra, Remi Tales, Alexandre Dumoulin

Canada: Matt Evans; Phil Mackenzie, Ciaran Hearn, Nick Blevins, DTH Van Der Merwe; Nathan Hirayama, Phil Mack; Tyler Ardon, Richard Thorpe, Kyle Gilmour; Jamie Cudmore, Brett Geukeboom; Doug Woodridge, Aaron Carpenter, Hubert Buydens.

Replacements: Ray Barkwill, Djustice Sears-Duru, Aaron Tiedemann, Evan Olmstead, Nanyak Dala, Gordon McRorie, Harry Jones, Conor Trainor.

Weird stat…

X 2 + 1. More of an equation than a stat but in the three World Cup fixtures these two teams have played against each other, France’s winning margin has followed the pattern of being doubled then plus 1. (6 [‘91], 13[‘99], 27[‘11]) If the pattern follows, France would win by 55 points. 

Remember when…

Canada beat France last year? Ok, a trick question because, whilst a Canadian side did beat the French national team, it was in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals. No mean feat, and during the biggest tournament of the sport, it is worth remembering that the sport is for all. 

However, if you want to whet your appetite with the male teams, here are the highlights of the 2005 meeting of the two sides.

Player to watch…

DTH van der Merwe: The Canadian winger has scored in both of Canada’s matches so far, despite being on the losing side. If he scores again, he will become Canada’s outright top try scorer in the World Cup, overtaking Morgan Williams and Alan Charron who have scored 4 each.

Past three-meetings…

France 46 (Traille, Cleric [3]) Canada 19 (Smith) Rugby World Cup pool stages. September 2011

France 50 (Bonnaire (2), Michalak, Marty, Castaignede, Bruno, Mignoni) Canada 6. Autumn Internationals, November 2005.

France 47 (Goutta, Liebenberg, Lievremont, Poitrenaud, Rougerie) Canada 13 (Richmond). Summer Internationals July 2004.

Form guide… 

France: LLWWWW

Canada: LLWLLL

Vital information…

KICK-OFF TIME: 20.00, Thursday 1st October. 

TV: Live on ITV4, highlights on ITV