Warren Gatland’s side narrowly edged out Fiji in Bordeaux in a thrilling opening weekend on Sunday night, surviving a stunning late comeback thanks to Semi Radradra’s shocking last-gasp defeat to somehow escape with a 32-26 victory with bonus points much to their stalwarts Defensive efforts during a modern tournament classic.
Such a hard-fought victory, in which fly-half Dan Biggar delivered a stunning blow to team-mate George North, is undoubtedly extremely energy-sapping, but should be crucial in the race for a place in the quarter-finals. This group also includes Australia, which one day previously earned its first win of Eddie Jones’ second term against Georgia.
As for Portugal, this should be a much more straightforward affair for Wales on the French Riviera than the extreme challenge posed by the Flying Fijians.
The Lobos have been coached by former French winger Patrice Lagisquet, nicknamed “Bayonne Express”, since 2019. They are ranked 16th in the world and were the underdogs in Pool C. They did not play on the opening weekend and therefore had a while to prepare for the opening competition, having settled with a 16-1 draw against the USA in the decisive final game of the final qualifying tournament last November had once again secured their place on the world stage.
This is only Portugal’s second appearance at the World Cup and their first since 2007, when they finished bottom of a group consisting of the All Blacks, Scotland, Italy and Romania with 209 points and 38 points winless. Now they’re back in France and eager to make an impression after beating the USA during a warm-up that also included a loss to a Wallabies ‘A’ team.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Wales v Portugal will take place on Saturday 16 September 2023, with kick-off scheduled for 4:45pm BST.
The Stade de Nice will host the Pool C match.
Where to watch Wales vs Portugal?
TV channel: In the UK, Saturday’s showdown will be broadcast live and free-to-air on ITV1, with coverage starting at 4pm.
Live broadcast: The ITV website and ITVX app also offer fans a free live stream service online.
Team news Wales vs Portugal
With a group decider against Australia likely in Lyon on September 24, this is the game where the players will want to take a break and ensure they are fully recovered for the challenges ahead.
In fact, Gatland has made all but two changes to his entire lineup since last weekend, with Louis Rees-Zammit and Taulupe Faletau the only remaining players in the XV. Dewi Lake is captain of the team in his World Cup debut.
Portugal, meanwhile, will be boosted ahead of their first World Cup game in 16 years by the return of Stade Francais winger Raffaele Storti, who played 17 games after injury.
Lineups Wales vs. Portugal
Wales XV: Halfpenny; Rees-Zammit, Grady, Williams, Dyer; Anscombe, Williams; Smith, Lake (c), Lewis, Tshiunza, Jenkins, Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau.
Substitute: Elias, Domachowski, Beard, Francis, Basham, G Davies, Costelow, Adams
Portugal XV: TBC
Referee Wales vs. Portugal
The game on Saturday will be officiated by English referee Karl Dickson, supported by Luke Pearce and Italian Andrea Piardi. The Television Match Official (TMO) is South African Marius Jonker.
Wales vs Portugal prediction
Regardless of team selection, Wales are confident of a nice win in Nice.
Holding on for victory over Fiji will have been a huge confidence boost for Gatland and co after what has been such a difficult 2023 for Welsh rugby in general.
Portugal will not lack courage and determination, but there is obviously a class difference and returning to the biggest stage will be very difficult.
Wales wins by 40 points.
Head-to-head history (h2h) and results
The only previous meeting between these two nations was in Lisbon in May 1994, when Wales had to play a World Cup qualifier for 1995 after failing to reach the quarter-finals in 1991.
They surpassed the century mark with a score of 102-11, scoring 16 tries, including four from current Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) interim CEO Nigel Walker. Neil Jenkins delivered 11 conversions on the day.
Wales wins: 1
Portugal wins: 0
Latest odds for Wales vs Portugal
Wales to win: 1/180
Portugal wins: 35/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/rugby/wales-vs-portugal-rugby-world-cup-2023-kick-off-time-tv-channel-live-stream-team-news-lineups-odds-preview-b1106535.html Wales vs Portugal: Rugby World Cup kick-off time, TV channel, live stream, team news, lineups, odds