France v New Zealand, Autumn Internationals 2021: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

·3-min read
France v New Zealand, Autumn Internationals 2021: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction? - REUTERS
France v New Zealand, Autumn Internationals 2021: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction? - REUTERS

France wrap up their Autumn Internationals 2021 program - also knows as the Autumn Nations Series - with a mouth-watering clash against the All Blacks at the Stade de France. This is arguably the clash of the whole November Test series.

When is it?

Saturday, November 20.

What time is kick-off?

8pm GMT.

What TV channel is it on?

Amazon Prime Video will be streaming all France's games.

What is the latest team news?

New Zealand scrum-half Aaron Smith has joined up with his country's squad. Smith was expected to miss the All Blacks' autumn campaign following the birth of his son but has been called up after fellow No 9 Brad Weber sustained a head knock during their win in Italy a week ago.

The 32-year-old Highlanders player has been capped 101 times by the national team and was part of the World Cup-winning squad of 2015.

What are they saying?

New Zealand coach Ian Foster said his side were taught a harsh lesson in how difficult it can be to play away against the northern hemisphere's best after his side were beaten 29-20 by Ireland on Saturday.

While New Zealand demolished Wales 54-16 with a seven-try exhibition two weeks ago, they faced an Irish onslaught in Dublin where they have been pushed harder and harder in recent years, including a defeat last time they played in 2018.

"It's been three years since we've been up here (in Europe). For a number of the players, they haven't really been in a test up here and it's very, very different," Foster said.

"It's very much a pressure game you've got to deal with. You've got to be at the top end of your discipline because if they sense weakness and suddenly you start to give up a couple of back to back penalties, then you feed into a game that teams like to play."

Foster said his team, who fell back behind South Africa at the top of the world rankings after the defeat, got too easily frustrated at times when they couldn't get a hold of the ball and came a cropper early in the second half when Ireland scored two decisive tries.

"I was delighted with the fact that under the sheer weight of possession and territory, our defence stood up pretty strong and got through to halftime a bit battered but in a reasonably good position."

"We weren't very clinical in those first 10 minutes (of the second half) and we had to go chasing the game... They played hide the ball very well, and you have to give them credit."

The All Blacks face France in Paris next weekend in their 15th and final Test of the year.

What are the odds?

TBC

What is our prediction?

This fixture always captures the imagination simply because you have to expect the unexpected. France always go in as underdogs and, in true France fashion, turn on the style. This time it is different, though, because Les Bleus are not underdogs. At least, not like they have been in the past. France are now arguably the best team in the northern hemisphere and their strength in depth rivals that of New Zealand. This could be a cracker!
Predicted score: France 35 New Zealand 31

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