France’s preparations for 2023’s World Cup will feature a climactic November clash with South Africa in 2022, the FFR announced on Monday.
Their June tour will be somewhat more low-key, with matches against Japan played by a squad most likely short of any internationals involved in the Top 14 final for at least one of the Tests.
Those Tests are set for July 2 and July 9, with the Top 14 final taking place on the improbably late date of June 25.
But November includes a home Test against South Africa at the Stade de France to open the series, followed by a match against Australia, also in Paris, and then rounded off with a Test against a tier two nation, most likely one of the Pacific Island nations. The third match will also be played outside of Paris, with Toulouse the most likely destination.
South Africa are the only of the southern hemisphere nations the French are yet to play since the 2019 World Cup, and with the French in good enough form for most to declare them among the favourites for the 2023 World Cup, the match against the reigning world champions is set to be the game of the year in France.