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New Zealand v Uruguay - Teams and Prediction

WORLD CUP, ROUND FIVE: New Zealand head coach Ian Foster says his team will be giving Uruguay the respect they deserve as they look to secure a quarterfinal spot on Thursday.


After a 96-17 win over Italy last Friday, the All Blacks just need a bonus-point win against the South Americans to advance to the last eight.

With a significant gap in class between the two sides, the All Blacks are expected to produce another huge winning margin. However, Foster has explained how he is guarding his team against complacency after the performance against Italy.

“You need two things. One, you can’t motivate a team falsely because it shows in performance. So, you’ve got to get real about it,” said Foster.

“We’ve got so much to achieve ourselves. That’s a fact. We are not in a quarterfinal yet, so we’ve got to make sure we do that.

“We are playing against a team that basically had the same scoreline against France as what we did. And that’s in the last month.

“I am not trying to talk them up falsely but they lost to France by the same scoreline we did. That deserves a lot of respect and if you watch that game, these guys, I love their attitude.


“I think they’re a really passionate rugby team and if we’re not in the house, then we are going to struggle. That’s a fact we’ve got to deal with.

“For us, we are at our best when we are on edge. Sometimes our opponent puts us on edge, sometimes the situation puts you on edge but at all times your own internal standards have to be the edge that really matters the most.”

The preview continues below…


Foster, who made nine changes to his starting XV, also has to get the balance right of being alive to future challenges such as a potential quarterfinal against Ireland while focusing on the present.

“That’s the challenge of World Cups. You’ve got to make sure that you prepare for the here and now, I guess with an eye to the future. You’ve got to get that balance right,” Foster explained.

“But there’s enough challenges in the here and now. Uruguay represent some pretty significant challenges in many areas of the game for us that perhaps we have to get better in for the future anyway.

“They are an ambitious team. We know we are going to have to be alive defensively because they are going to want to take opportunities when they can. We also know they are highly combative at the breakdown.

“They’ve basically got the Rugby World Cup’s leading jackler in their team.

“Rugby, in many ways, is still pretty simple. You’ve just got to get two or three of your big rocks right every week and then the other stuff adds on top of that.”

Meanwhile, Uruguay will be out to make life very difficult at the breakdown for the All Blacks.

“The game is going to be decided there,” said Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses.

“It’s going to be a battle. Each defensive ruck for them is a war, two and sometimes more players. We have trained for this; our idea is to play the breakdown quickly, it will happen by being there earlier and get us quality balls to play from.

“As for our defensive ruck, it is the opposite, making the ball slow for them, not letting them play at their intensity, their speed, as it is going to make it difficult.”

Players to watch

For New Zealand: Captain Sam Cane is back in the No.7 jersey and Ian Foster will want him to shake off all the rust ahead of the quarterfinals. Luke Jacobson also gets a start at No.8 and he can be a workhorse in all areas of the game. At scrumhalf, Cam Roigard has shown what a livewire he can be on attack and he will certainly expose any defensive lapses. Damian McKenzie gets a start at fullback this week and if given enough time and space, then the floodgates might open in Lyon.

For Uruguay: Manuel Ardao has been the most dangerous breakdown player in the tournament, hitting a competition-high 32 defensive rucks, winning the most steals – six – and forcing the fourth-most penalties – two. Flyhalf Felipe Etcheverry has assisted five of Uruguay’s nine tries scored. He will start alongside Santiago Arata as one of only four halfback pairings to start every game at RWC 2023 so far.

Key RWC info

  • This will be the first official Test match between these two teams after Uruguay played an international against a New Zealand XV in Montevideo in 1976, losing 3-64.
  • This will be the 23rd different Test opposition the All Blacks have faced in their history, and the first time since RWC 2015 against Georgia that they have played a team for the first time.
  • Aside from South American rivals Argentina, this will be only the sixth time Uruguay have played the remaining Rugby Championship teams, with three Tests against the Springboks between 1999 and 2005, and two against the Wallabies in 2015 and 2019.

New Zealand v Uruguay - Teams and Prediction

New Zealand v Uruguay - Teams and Prediction


@rugby365com: New Zealand by 75 points.


New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Cam Roigard, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Caleb Clarke.

Uruguay: 15 Rodrigo Silva, 14 Gaston Mieres, 13 Tomas Inciarte, 12 Andres Vilaseca (captain), 11 Nicolas Freitas, 10 Felipe Etcheverry, 9 Santiago Arata, 8 Manuel Diana, 7 Lucas Bianchi, 6 Manuel Ardao, 5 Manuel Leindekar, 4 Ignacio Dotti, 3 Diego Arbelo, 2 German Kessler, 1 Mateo Sanguinetti.
Replacements: 16 Guillermo Pujadas, 17 Matias Benitez, 18 Ignacio Peculo, 19 Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 20 Santiago Civetta, 21 Agustin Ormaechea, 22 Felipe Berchesi, 23 Juan Manuel Alonso.

Date: Thursday, October 5
Venue: OL Stadium, Lyon
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT; 16.00 UYT; 08.00 Friday, October 6 NZDT)
Expected weather: It will be chilly around kick-off with winds light and variable.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (England), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Additional reporting: @WorldRugby

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