Wales will be fuelled by the pain of losing to France by a single point in their 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final, when the two sides meet in the last eight of the tournament on Sunday 20th October at 8.15am BST.
Stephen Jones, the current backs coach who missed a potentially match-winning conversion four minutes from time in that game, will certainly be doing all in his power to make sure there is no repeated heartache in 2019.
The current Six Nations holders have beaten Sunday’s opponents in seven of their eight meetings since that night in Auckland, but they shouldn’t read too much into the reported unrest in this French camp: there were similar stories of disarray eight years ago, when France went so close to lifting the trophy.
Nonetheless, France will go into the quarter-final tie as slight underdogs. They won all of their pool stage games, though picked up only one bonus point and were relieved of facing England when that game was called off.
Wales, meanwhile, won all four of their games, including an enthralling 29-25 victory over Australia last month, and picked up three bonus points along the way.
Wales go in with the squad at full strength with backs Jonathan Davies, Dan Biggar and Hadleigh Parkes all passing fitness tests alongside winger George North.
France have more or less reverted to the team from their opening win against Argentina. The only change is in the second row where lock Bernard Le Roux comes in for Arthur Iturria. Scrum-half Antoine Dupont will start despite carrying a back problem.
With so many stories playing out on and off the field, this is one you won’t want to miss, and here we’ve put together a guide for how you can watch all the quarter-final matches live on TV, online and on the go, wherever you are in the world.
Watch Wales vs France in the UK
ITV is where you’ll find all the action from the World Cup if you’re situated in the UK, meaning you won’t have to pay a penny for the privilege. Its +1 channel might also be of use if you’re hoping for an extra hour in bed before the early morning start.
As well as showing all the matches live, it also has a late-night highlights show for those of us who will be at work, asleep or otherwise engaged on Sunday morning.
ITV has no 4K facility, but games will be available in HD on your television or standard definition via its website and the ITV Player app.
Find out below how you can access those services even if you’re not in the UK on Sunday morning.
Watch Wales vs France from abroad using a VPN
Trying to access ITV streams from outside the UK – if you’re on holiday or working abroad, for example – is still a problem. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access – even if you’re a UK national. This will be the same if you try to access any geo-blocked stream from around the world.
So, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
VPNs are as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or access websites that people in your location are not supposed to do. So, whether you want to watch live rugby, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then they’re well worth considering.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Which comes in at as little as $2.99 (£2.29) per month and features 24/7 assistance
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
You can find a full list of the world’s broadcasters with rights to show live Rugby World Cup matches here.
Watch Wales vs France in the USA
Exclusive rights to show the Rugby World Cup in the USA belong to NBC Sports Gold, which is offering a pass to stream all 48 live matches across the tournament, commercial-free, for $199.99. A single match pass otherwise costs $29.99 – a saving if you think your nation is unlikely to make it past the quarters.
Better value for Rugby fans, though, would be its all-access premium pass, which will set you back $229.99 but also unlocks a whole season’s worth of action, including the Six Nations and Rugby League Premiership. This pass would cost $79.99 on its own, without World Cup coverage.
You can choose your NBC Sports Gold Rugby World Cup pass here.
If you’re going to be out of the country over the next few weeks, you can still use your pass with a VPN. See our above section to find out how to access geo-blocked streams.
Knockout stage fixtures
All times shown are GMT.
England vs Australia, 8.15am – Saturday 19th
New Zealand vs Ireland, 11.15am – Saturday 19th
Wales vs France, 8.15am – Sunday 20th
Japan vs South Africa, 11.15am – Sunday 20th
England/Australia vs New Zealand/France, 9.00am – Saturday 26th
Wales/France vs Japan/South Africa, 9.00am – Sunday 27th
Loser semi-final 1 vs Loser semi-final 2, 9.00am – Friday 1st
Winner semi-final 1 vs Winner semi-final 2, 9.00am – Saturday 2nd