‘They’ve got a physical presence that would trump South Africa with ease’
Pundit Isa Nacewa has put his neck on the line with a very bold call following the July international window about the top powers in rugby at the moment.
Following their series win over the All Blacks, Ireland now sit at the top of the World Rugby rankings, displacing France, who had only recently displaced South Africa following their loss to Wales in the second Test of their three match series.
Despite what the rankings say, Nacewa has spoken very highly of the French, saying they could “trump South Africa with ease” on The Breakdown this week on Sky Sport NZ.
The pundits were talking about the strength of the northern hemisphere teams’ defences during this July and how good they were at nullifying their opponents’ attacks, which is where John Kirwan mentioned France. Fabien Galthie’s side enjoyed a slightly quieter 2-0 series win over Japan this month, but Kirwan stressed that they are Six Nations champions.
Coached by Shaun Edwards, Les Bleus probably have the strongest defence in international rugby at the moment, which is why Nacewa was willing to make this very bold call about them and South Africa, who will meet for the first time since 2018 later this year in November.
“The French are an absolute beast,” the one-cap former Fiji international said. “Their forward pack would, in my eyes, trump South Africa right now. They’ve got a physical presence and a game nouse that would trump South Africa with ease and we’ve seen what they can do. Their backs, they don’t need to have much structure, game-plan and flair – they’ve got a little bit and that’s enough – but that is their style. They know that they go to that and they do it very, very well. But they are absolute beasts at the breakdown.”
Take a look at the video:
Someone please check on the Kiwis
I think that British heatwave got to my man. pic.twitter.com/7GiDxNroBl
— Saffas Abroad Rugby (@SaffasRugby) July 18, 2022