Ian Foster will coach the invitational side

World XV to play France in Bilbao on 22 June with the invitational side being coached by former All Blacks boss Ian Foster.

The game will take place before France travel to Argentina for Tests in the summer. Some stars for the World XV have already been confirmed and they include Semi Radradra and the Vunipola brothers.

Read more: 2023 World XV

“It’s an incredible honour to be asked to coach the World XV and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Foster.  “To coach an invitational side made up of top-class international players from around the globe is something truly unique. And playing the French team in the Basque region of Bilbao, we will certainly want to put on a show of attacking rugby, full of tries so the French, Spanish and Basque fans come away being fully entertained.

“I am also looking forward to joining up with the former French prop Patrice Collazo – he brings a wealth of experience to the coaching set up with stints at a number of the Top 14 clubs, La Rochelle, Toulon, Brive and currently at Montpellier.”

The World XV played a match last year against the Barbarians. In 2023 the World XV was also coached by a former New Zealand boss but it was Steve Hansen at the helm. His invitational side were beaten by Eddie Jones’ Barbarians last summer.

France have also reacted to the announcement. Jean-Marc Lhermet, Vice-President of the FFR said: “We are pleased to be able to announce today this very high-level international match in Bilbao. Our French team is a magnificent tool for exporting rugby to countries where our sport continues to grow. It is a pride and a privilege to participate in its development. We can’t wait to see this magical stadium filled with the massive atmosphere that Basque supporters know how to create”.

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