France vs Romania - RWC 2015 preview: What time does it start, where can I watch it?

A look ahead to the Pool D fixture at The Olympic Stadium where Romania will be hoping to make a positive start as they look to beat their record of one victory per World Cup

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The Independent Online

It’s a big game for…

Wesley Fofana: The thumping French centre returns to the field after taking a knock in the warm-up game against Scotland and missing out in the opening victory against Italy. He was sorely missed, as his footwork and pace are often relied upon for France’s attacking prowess. Since the loss of Yoann Huget earlier this week, France need some magic back in their squad.

Teams...

France: Brice Dulin; Sofiane Guitoune, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaictaci; Remi Tales, Morgan Parra; Louis Picamoles, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Yannick Nyanga; Alexandre Flanquart, Bernard Le Roux; Uini Atonio, Dimitri Szarzewski, Wincent Debaty.

Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Eddy Ben Arous, Nicholas Mas, Yoann Maestri, Damien Chouly, Rory Kockott, Frederic Michalak, Mathieu Bastareaud.

Romania: Catalin Fercu; Madalin Lemnaru, Paula Kinikinilau, Florin Vlaicu, Adrian Apostol; Danut Dumbrava, Florin Surugiu; Mihai Macovei, Viorel Lucaci, Valentin Ursache; Johan Van Heerden, Valentin Popirlan; Paulica Ion, Otar Turashvilli, Mihai Lazar.

Replacements: Andrei Radoi, Andrei ursache, Horatiu Pungae, Ovidiu Tonita, Stelian Burcea, Valentin Calafeteanu, Ionut Botezatu, Csaba Gal.

 

Weird stat…

2nd and 3rd. These are the respective current Olympic rankings for France and Romania from the last time rugby featured in the Games, Paris in 1924. France were the winners in their contest, 61-3, although this score is disputed and thought by some to be 59-3, though still in favour of the French.

Remember when…

These teams last played? It was only in 2006, but it seems no one was paying attention as finding video footage of these sides is near impossible. The most recent highlights appear to be from a 1965 FIRA championship game. Check out the black and white footage below...

 

Player to watch…

Catalin Fercu: The only player in the Romania squad who plays in the Aviva Premiership, he debuted for Saracens in March of this year against Harlequins. He is also the only player in the team who played against France the last time these sides met back in 2006. Since his youthful debut in 2005, he has scored 143 points in 80 tests.       

Past three-meetings…

Romania 14 (Fercu) v France 62 (Castaignede, Dusautoir, Jauzion, Laharrague, Marconnet, Martin, Marty, Szarzewski, Traille) Summer Internationals June 2006.

France 56 (Betsen Tchoua, Crenca, Harinordoquy, Jauzion, Liebenberg, Magne, Rougerie, Traille) v Romania 8 (Brezoianu) Summer Internationals August 2003.

Romania 20 (Brezoianu, Mavrodin, Solomie) v France 67 (Benazzi, Dominici 3, Elissalde, Ibanez 2, Merceron, Nallet, Souverbie)

Form guide…

France: WLLWWW

Romania: WLWWWL

Vital information…

KICK-OFF TIME: 8pm Wednesday 23 September

TV: Live on ITV4, highlights on ITV4

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