|Venue: Stade de Good Date: Saturday, 16 Sept Kick-off: 16:45 BST|
|Protection: Stay BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Stay, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport web site & app; dwell textual content commentary on BBC Sport web site & app|
Portugal captain Tomas Appleton says his aspect know the enormity of trying to trigger one of many nice World Cup upsets by defeating Wales in Good on Saturday.
Portugal will play their first World Cup sport in 16 years in opposition to a Wales aspect who opened the 2023 marketing campaign with a 32-26 win over Fiji.
“We now have to be at our greatest to beat them,” stated Appleton.
“We’re assured we will present our greatest rugby however know the fact.”
Appleton added: “Wales have been among the best groups on the planet for the previous couple of years.
“They don’t seem to be at their greatest stage in the mean time, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a good distance for us to go to be at their stage.”
Can Portugal beat Wales?
Wales and Portugal have solely met as soon as earlier than, in a World Cup qualifier in 1994, when Wales received 102-11 as wing Nigel Walker scored 4 of their 16 tries.
The Portugal class of 2023 are coached by former France wing Patrice Lagisquet.
“I haven’t got a crystal ball to say how we are able to beat Wales,” stated Lagisquet.
“I’ve tried to consider that for a lot of months. If I discovered a key, I would not inform. We now have to attempt to play our greatest and present we’ve got improved in key areas of the sport.
“We attempt to don’t have any weak spot, nevertheless it’s tough whenever you play a group like Wales, who performed within the semi-final of the final World Cup, though possibly they haven’t been at their greatest stage lately.
“Towards Fiji, Wales defended with 253 tackles. We will not repeat the technique of Fiji. We do not have the ability. We are going to attempt to play with our id.”
Wales have made 13 changes from the aspect that defeated Fiji and Lagisquet understands counterpart Warren Gatland’s causes for doing so with Australia their subsequent opponents.
“We understand how Fiji play, they’re so bodily,” he stated.
Lagisquet added: “If you consider the group as coach then you’ll change lots of gamers as worldwide video games are powerful.
“Fiji and Australia are the 2 most bodily groups within the pool. It is logical to make that alternative.
“We understand how they play is all the time organised. Perhaps they may change some issues we’re not prepared for, then we are going to uncover that through the sport”
Portugal are referred to as ‘Os Lobos’, which means ‘The Wolves’. It’s thought-about an apt identify as a result of they purpose to play a mode primarily based on motion and velocity with Warren Gatland even evaluating Portugal to Fiji.
Wing Rodrigo Marta has scored eight tries in 5 Exams this season, together with 4 in opposition to Poland on the Rugby Europe Championship.
Lagisquet is uncertain whether or not the anticipated rain in Good this weekend will permit Portugal to play their expansive type.
“We cannot ship the ball to the wings instantly,” stated Lagisquet.
“We must adapt. We must play rugby that may be aggressive given the climate circumstances.”
Current type has been robust, notably a 46-20 World Cup warm-up win in opposition to the US and a battling loss to Australia A.
World Cup qualification, French connection
Portugal claimed the final place within the World Cup after snatching a 16-16 draw in opposition to USA of their last qualifier with a last-minute penalty from Samuel Marques.
After already defeating Kenya and Hong Kong, Portugal received the four-team last qualifying event in Dubai in November 2022 on factors distinction.
The prize was a spot in Pool C in opposition to Wales, Fiji, Australia and Georgia.
“No person is anticipating Portugal to qualify for the quarter-finals of this event, however all of the gamers need to present they should be at this World Cup and so they can play good rugby,” stated Lagisquet.
Like various the Portugal squad, Marques holds twin French-Portuguese nationality.
Whereas the vast majority of the beginning aspect play membership rugby in France, hooker Mike Tadjer is the one participant who performs within the High 14, for Perpignan.
4 gamers within the squad, Anthony Alves, Joris Moura, Steevy Cerqueira and Vincent Pinto represented France at age-grade stage with wing Pinto profitable the World Rugby Underneath-20 Championships in 2019.
World Cup historical past
That is Portugal’s second look on the World Cup, having performed in 2007 in France.
The Portuguese misplaced 4 matches 16 years in the past after they endured defeats by Scotland (56-10), New Zealand (108-13), Italy (31-5) and Romania (14-10). Regardless of the outcomes, they gave motivation to a brand new technology.
“The 2007 squad impressed a few of these gamers to play at their best possible,” stated Appleton.
“We need to encourage younger children to play and develop rugby in Portugal. As gamers, it is particular to be amongst the perfect on the planet and we need to present our qualities and our greatest rugby.”
Appleton, 30, is essentially the most capped participant within the Portugal squad with 62 internationals and has been captain since 2019.
“Each younger child, each younger technology wants a group to look as much as and one which wins and will get outcomes,” stated Appleton.
“To be current at a World Cup is the perfect end result we might get.”