All Blacks

Italy have no fear of All Blacks

The Italians have never beaten the All Blacks in 15 attempts, and have often been on the wrong end of big scorelines, but New Zealander Crowley said that would mean nothing in Lyon.

"This team has never played New Zealand and the New Zealand team named has never played Italy," he said.

"We are under no illusions as to what is coming. They are going to come at us, and they are going to be aggressive and they are going to try to intimidate us. They'll try to bully us. We have to embrace that challenge.

All Blacks bolstered by return of injured players

Head coach Ian Foster, who will name his team for the Pool A match tonight, will have flanker Shannon Frizell, prop Tyrel Lomax and centre Jordie Barrett available for the first time at the tournament.

Openside flanker Cane was named to start the tournament opening loss to hosts France at Stade de France but was withdrawn shortly before the match kicked off with a back problem.

Frizell, who started at blindside flanker throughout New Zealand's Rugby Championship triumph, has been struggling with a hamstring problem, forcing Foster to tinker with his back row.

Ethan De Groot banned for two games

De Groot was shown a yellow card for making contact with the head of Adriaan Booysen in the last 10 minutes of New Zealand's 71-3 win at Stadium de Toulouse but it was upgraded to a red after being reviewed by the TMO.

New Zealand coach Ian Foster had suggested the All Blacks would argue that the challenge started as shoulder-to-shoulder contact and therefore was not a red card offence.

All Black Coles buries hatchet with Hansen after Wallabies dalliance

Coles reacted with incredulity three weeks ago when told Hansen had been advising New Zealand's fierce rivals at the behest of his friend Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.

"Shag (Hansen), what are you up to?," a stunned Coles told reporters.

"That hurts a little bit, to be fair. I'm just gobsmacked. I know he's quite tight with Eddie, they're really good mates, but he's a bit of an icon in the All Blacks set-up."

All Blacks agree: mouthwatering World Cup opener looms

So, has Ian Foster's New Zealand side recovered from their record defeat to South Africa almost a fortnight ago?

Or will French overcome the weight of expectation and draw first blood in Pool A?

The All Blacks were on the wrong side of the scoreboard the last time they played France in 2021, but Foster is bullish about their chances of winning on Saturday.

He said the team is in a "good place" despite their most recent game being the 35-7 thrashing from the Springboks at Twickenham, a result he believes people shouldn't read too much in to.

Narawa out of World Cup as All Blacks make four changes

Anton Lienert-Brown replaced the injured Jordie Barrett at second five-eighth in the only backline change to the starting side for the Test against the tournament hosts in Paris on Saturday morning.

Barrett has been struggling with a knee problem and did not train this week so Lienert-Brown will play his second Test of the year alongside Rieko Ioane in midfield for the blockbuster clash at Stade de France.

France will 'trounce' All Blacks in opener says former French international

Magne, who was a part of the famous 1999 side that upset New Zealand in the semi-final, believed that there was only three real contenders for this year’s World Cup.

He predicted a “tough” opening game for the All Blacks as a “humiliation” could be on the cards similar to what France dealt to England during the Six Nations.

“To me, the Big Three of this World Cup is France, SA and Ireland,” said former France flanker Olivier Magne in the columns of Midi Olympique.

“I am especially worried about this New Zealand team.

Jordie Barrett in doubt for Rugby World Cup opener

Barrett hasn't trained for the past two days as he nurses a knee injury, which has put him in doubt for the highly anticipated test.

The 26-year-old has been given "today and tomorrow" to prove his fitness.

Assistant coach Scott McLeod delivered the news at All Blacks training in Lyon today.

"He's just got a niggle. We are just taking precautions."

"It's a wait and see. It's still early in the week for us. So, we will just wait and see how he responds today and tomorrow to a little bit more treatment."

Scott Barrett free to play All Blacks World Cup opener

Barrett was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a dangerous clean out on Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx in the first half of New Zealand's record 35-7 defeat at Twickenham.

He had only just returned to the field after being sent to the sin bin for a foul at the breakdown, when New Zealand were on a team warning for repeated infringements.

The independent Disciplinary Committee was chaired by Sir James Dingemans (England), joined by former international player Olly Kohn (Wales) and former referee Valeriu Toma (Romania).

All Blacks great SBW commends Flying Fijians historic win

Posting in his official Twitter account, Williams is confident that Fiji can secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Williams tweeted “Well done my Fijian brothers..don’t be surprised to see these guys in the quarter finals!”

Also posting about Fiji’s historic win, Former Flying Fijians Nemani Nadolo posted “That wasn’t even fiji best team. I’m calling it now. Fiji and one other “Tier 1” Country in pool C is going through to the QF…”