The first of Sunday's Rugby World Cup quarter final's is a clash between two unbeaten northern hemisphere sides as Wales take on France in Oita
Wales v France, Sunday 20th October, Oita, KO 09:15 (South African time)
Weather Forecast – Oita (note this stadium has a retractable roof)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Wales come into the play offs after topping Pool D with a 100% record. They started with a 43-14 win over Georgia before winning the pool's defining game against Australia 29-25. They held on to beat the Wallabies who finished that game strongly and then saw off a spirited effort from Fiji in a 29-17 victory. Wales were already assured of a quarter final place by the time they beat Uruguay 35-13 which sealed top spot and set up this clash with France whilst the Wallabies have to face England.
Wales scored 17 tries in their pool matches and Josh Adams is their leading try scorer in the tournament with 5 whilst Gareth Davies, Liam Williams and Tomos Williams have 2.
Wales have reached the semi finals twice before, in 1987 and 2011. In RWC 2015 Wales finished as runners up to the Wallabies in the pool stage and they were edged out by the Springboks in the quarter finals.
The winner of this match will take on either Japan or South Africa in the semi finals and Wales are trading at around 8/1 to win the tournament and 9/4 to reach the final.
France remain unbeaten and they take their place in the quarter finals after finishing as runners up to England in Pool C. They held on at the death to beat Argentina 23-21 first time out and after beating USA 33-9 they edged out Tonga 23-21 to claim a place in the knockout rounds. Their final pool match against England would have provided more insight as to their chances of going deep but the game was cancelled and a 0-0 draw was awarded.
Alivereti Raka and Gael Fickou have both scored 2 tries for Les Bleus in the tournament so far.
France have reached three RWC finals and lost on each occasion. In 2015 they finished as runners up to Ireland in their pool and their stay in the knockout rounds was short lived as they crashed out to the All Blacks 62-13.
France are trading at around 33/1 to win the tournament and 7/1 to reach the final.
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones
Substitutes: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin
France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot
Substitutes: 16 Cyril Baille, 17 Camille Chat, 18 Emerick Setiano, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Vincent Rattez
Head to Head
Wales have won 7 and lost 1 of the last 8 head to heads.
The most recent meeting came in Paris in the Six Nations in February this year and despite being 16-0 down at hlaf time Wales fought back to come out on top 24-19.
The teams have met just once in the RWC, a semi final in Auckland in 2011 which France won 9-8.
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2019 6N Paris France 19-24 Wales (Tries 2-3)
2018 6N Cardiff Wales 14-13 France (Tries 1-1)
2017 6N Paris France 20-18 Wales (Tries 2-0)
2016 6N Cardiff Wales 19-10 France (Tries 1-1)
2015 6N Paris France 13-20 Wales (Tries 1-1)
2014 6N Cardiff Wales 27-6 France (Tries 2-0)
2013 6N Paris France 6-16 Wales (Tries 0-1)
2012 6N Cardiff Wales 16-9 France (Tries 1-0)
2011 WC (SF) Auckland Wales 8-9 France (Tries 1-0)
2011 6N Paris France 28-9 Wales (Tries 3-0)
Early Betting - Handicap
Wales -6.5 points at 9/10
France +6.5 points at 9/10
Quotes are an average of what was on offer from a selection of bookmakers at the time of writing and are subject to change.
This is not a match I am very confident on. Wales will be disciplined and have an excellent defence and as usually we are not sure what we will get from the French. One thing for sure though is the French reproduce the 1st half performance against Argentina (and Wales in the 6 Nations) for 80 minutes they are big runners and I cannot resist a nibble on them to win the match at 5/2.
Bet: 2 units France win at 5/2 at Betxchange
My main bet in this game will be posted on Saturday morning and will be in the points market assuming the quote is around 43.5 points.
Use It Or Lost It,RWC 1/4 Final Preview
Brent Graham is joined by Couch Critic, Judge Rugby and Brendon Shields to chat about the Rugby World Cup with a focus on the upcoming quarter finals.