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Rugby League World Cup preview: France v New Zealand
- Always prepared
- England boss hopeful over duo
- McNamara heading down under
- Hardaker eyes full-back berth
- England confirm Italy date
- Reed shoulders World Cup blow
- Sheens: Kiwis are favourites
- Parish takes on Samoa WC role
- Kiwis want Sonny Bill Williams
- Wales v Italy: Teams
- New Zealand v Samoa: Teams
- England v Australia: Teams
- PNG v France: Teams
- USA v Cook Islands: Teams
- Wales v USA: Teams
- PNG v Samoa: Teams
- Scotland v USA: Teams
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Knights power past Samoa
- Papa New Guinea sting Scotland
- New Zealand warm up in style
- Italy stun England in warm-up
- Kangaroos leap into final
- Fiji too strong for Samoa
- England stroll into semis
- Australia put USA to the sword
- Kiwis stroll into semis
- McNamara anticipates tough World Cup
- Sinfield targeting improvement
- Kearney expects spectacular World Cup
- McNamara accepts Burgess ban
- Rugby League World Cup hailed 'greatest'
- Brough targets World Cup quarter-finals
- Australia labelled favourites
- World Cup history
- NZ 42 Samoa 24
- England 42 Ireland 0
- Australia v Ireland
- USA 24 Wales 16
- France 9 PNG 8
- World Cup warm-ups
France take on reigning champions New Zealand in both sides' second Rugby League World Cup fixture in Avignon on Friday.
Both sides got off to winning starts, albeit in contrasting fashion. Richard Agar's French team edged out Papua New Guinea 9-8 thanks to a William Barthau drop goal following Thomas Bosc's early score.
The Kiwis meanwhile ran in eight tries as they defeated Samoa 42-24 in Warrington on Sunday, Manu Vatuvei scoring a hat-trick.
New Zealand are without Thomas Leuluai who will not be risked due to an ongoing groin complaint while superstar Sonny Bill Williams is rested.
Head coach Stephen Kearney has confirmed that Vatuvei picked up knocks to both his knee and his ankle in the clash with Samoa.
As a result, Jason Nightingale and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will start on the wings.
"Manu Vatuvei picked up a knock to the knee and ankle on Sunday night," said Kearney. "He mightn't be able to train fully this week, but it was always my intention to give Jason a run.
"Roger had a good game against Samoa and it'll be good for him to have another match this weekend."
Bryson Goodwin and Krisnan Inu will start in the centres.
France make two changes to their squad as Antoni Maria and Cyril Stacul replace match-winner Barthau and Clint Greenshields. A total of 15 Catalan Dragons players are included in the 19-man squad.
France: Jean-Philippe Baile, Andrew Bentley, Kane Bentley, Thomas Bosc, Remi Casty, Vincent Duport, Olivier Elima, Morgan Escare, Theo Fages, Jamal Fakir, Benjamin Garcia, Kevin Larroyer, Antoni Maria, Gregory Mounis, Eloi Pelissier, Sébastien Raguin, Mickael Simon, Cyril Stacul, Frédéric Vaccari.
New Zealand: Kevin Locke, Jason Nightingale, Bryson Goodwin, Krisnan Inu, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Ben Matulino, Issac Luke, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Frank Pritchard, Alex Glenn, Simon Mannering, Elijah Taylor, Sam Kasiano, Frank-Paul Nu'uausala, Greg Eastwood, Jesse Bromwich, Josh Hoffman.
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