France’s Morgan Parra and Brice Dulin try to halt New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Richie McCaw turns and leads with a glance. The other unsmiling giants immediately know the command is rapidity. Seven disciples, led by Kieran Read, (...)

France’s head coach Philippe Saint André (right) speaks with his captain Thierry Dusautoir during a training session at Newport High School ahead of the World Cup quarter-final match against New Zealand. Photograph: Getty.

New Zealand v France Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 8.0 TV3 , ITV No team spooks the All Blacks at the World Cup quite like the French, and with good r(...)

France warm up for the game against Canada. “The World Cup is really something special in France.  It’s a competition that works well with the French for some reason.” Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

And so it has come to pass pretty much exactly as expected. France were long ago cast as 18/1 outsiders, incapable of finishing in the top half of the(...)

France’s number eight Louis Picamoles during a training session at the Vale Resort in Hensol, south Wales. Photograph: Getty Images

Number eight Louis Picamoles will start France’s Pool D decider against Ireland on Sunday as one of two changes to the team who beat Canada in their p(...)

Remy Grosso will make his France Test debut against Canada. Photograph: Afp

France have opted to rest number eight Louis Picamoles and will give wing Remy Grosso his first Rugby World Cup start in the Pool D match against Cana(...)

Toulon’s Stade Felix Mayol. Photograph: Getty

The French rugby club Toulon have been caught up in a preliminary investigation into certain pharmacists in their home city. The French anti-doping ag(...)

Yannick Jauzion of France celebrates as the final whistle signals his team’s victory in the Quarter Final of the Rugby World Cup 2007 match between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Having being beaten France home and away over the last two years it seems like Ireland have finally managed to shake the Gallic hoodoo which saw then (...)

Frederic Michalak in action for France against England at Stade de France. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

France coach Philippe Saint-André has omitted outhalf Francois Trinh-Duc from his 31-man World Cup squad in favour of Frederic Michalak. Saint-Andre (...)

Frederic Michalak’s resurgence has seen him earn a place in France’s Rygby World Cup squad with Francois Trinh-Duc missing out. Photograph: Getty

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre left out flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc from his 31-man World Cup squad announced on Sunday, in favour of Frederic Micha(...)

Louis Picamoles  makes a break during the  match between England and France at Twickenham on Saturday. The big-carrying Toulouse number eight was France’s standout player. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The most interesting and revealing case study in these warm-up games from an Irish perspective are undoubtedly France. Ireland’s final pool game again(...)