TOKYO, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRANCE TEAM PROP, JEFFERSON POIROT, SAYING:
"We know them (the Argentineans), we won't be surprised of the bravery they will demonstrate tomorrow, of the war they will fight tomorrow, we know it's a team which plays very good rugby and which tries to break their opponent, we know all of that so it's down to us to handle this, we've prepared for it, so it will be a real war tomorrow."
2. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARGENTINA RUGBY TEAM ASSISTANT COACH, JUAN FERNANDEZ LOBBE, SAYING:
"The first objective of this team is to go to the quarter-final and for that it's important to go through four games and be the best of the group. If we can start with a victory that would be much better but the most important is this clear objective which we have built up with the team and which is to go to the quarter-final. It starts with a game against France, Tonga, England and the United States and we'll see. To start with a victory is always better."
STORY: France prop Jefferson Poirot is expecting "war" when his side take on Argentina in their Rugby World Cup Pool C opener in Tokyo on Saturday (September 21) in what looks a vital match for both if they are to make it to the quarter-finals.
Poirot expects bravery and fight from an Argentina side which enters the tournament on a run of nine straight defeats.
And he acknowledges that the South Americans have not been as mediocre as those results suggest, with three of those defeats by six points or less to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa this year.
France have battled with form themselves, but a recent pair of wins over Italy and a comprehensive home success against Scotland have lifted the mood, and captain Guilhem Guirado believes they are showing signs of improvement.
Argentina assistant coach Juan Fernandez Lobbe stopped short of saying it was a must-win game for his side, but with Tonga and the United States also in the pool, it most likely is do-or-die for the Pumas unless they can surprise fancied England.
Argentina are known for their swift counter-attacks when winning turnover ball, but Lobbe says they must be wary of a dose of their own medicine.
France are unbeaten in seven of their eight World Cup opening matches. Their only loss came against Argentina in Paris in 2007.