New Zealand will defend their back-to-back RWC title bid when they battle France in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal round at Millennium Stadium on Sunday. The All Blacks and Les Bleus have a rich history of Rugby World Cup rivalries, which they will carry come kick off time in Cardiff.

The defending champion has cruised into the last eight round of the RWC tournament after dominating Pool C with four wins on 19 points. New Zealand had easy RWC fixtures in the pool stage, having won all of their matches convincingly.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has made four changes to his side that beat Tonga 47-9 in their final pool match. Hansen will start Wyatt Crockett at loose-head, with Tony Woodcock ruled out of the tournament, while Joe Moody is set to make his first appearance from the bench for the All Blacks. Julian Savea will replace Waisele Naholo on the wing as Richie McCaw and Brodie Retallick return in the pack, making the Kiwis’ most experienced starting XV for a Rugby World Cup knockout match and their second ever for any RWC game.

“A lot of the guys picked themselves and it was about getting the right 23,” Hansen said, reports The Guardian . “There are not many bigger challenges than playing France and the job this week for me has been keeping the lid on things.”

France, on the other hand, will go to war without a coach after reports from Europe that the Les Bleus have sacked Philippe Saint-Andre, according to NZ Herald. L’obs Sports reported the Frenchmen are discretely dismissing Saint-Andre after the team closed out their final pool match with a 24-9 defeat from Ireland, claiming that they do not view the coach as a “leader.”

It was not the first time France rebelled against their coach. Four years ago, Marc Lievremont was effectively ousted by his own squad after the Les Bleus lost to Tonga in the pool stages. France ended up reaching the final round that year, but eventually lost to New Zealand.

But despite the coup from France’s players, the Les Bleus are still expected to give the All Blacks a tough battle, knowing that they have won against New Zealand in Cardiff before. In 2007, France knocked New Zealand out of the 2007 tournament with a 20-18 victory in the quarterfinal round.

France made three changes to the side that lost to Ireland, with Bernard Le Roux, Morgan Parra, and Alexandre Dumoulin taking the place of Damien Chouly, Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Mathieu Bastareaud. It is also France’s most experienced starting lineup with 553 caps.

Team lineup

New Zealand : Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Wyatt Crockett, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (captain), Kieran Read. Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Joe Moody, Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams.

France: S Spedding, B Dulin, W Fofana, A Dumoulin, N Nakaitaci, F Michalak, M Parra; B Le Roux, L Picamoles, T Dusautoir, Y Maestri, P Pape, R Slimani, G Guirado, E Ben Arous. Replacements: D Szarzewski, V Debaty, N Mas, D Chouly, Y Nyanga, R Kockott, R Tales, M Bastareaud.

TV schedule

The Rugby World Cup 2015 France vs New Zealand quarterfinal match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 2HD on Foxtel, and Channel Nine’s GEM.

Match date and time

The match kicks off on Sunday at 6 a.m. AEDT.

Latest odds (Courtesy of Sky Bet )

New Zealand win: 1/6

France win: 11/2

Draw: 33/1

Contact the writer at , or let us know what you think below.