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(...)

Frédéric Michalak in action for Toulon against Wasps in the quarter-final of the European Champions Cup. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Just watch his body language, just watch him walking back. This is like your granddad playing outhalf . . . I can’t believe France don’t have a better(...)

Toulon’s Ali Williams dives to score a try against Wasps in their  European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final at Stade Flix Mayol, Toulon. Photograph: Inpho

Leigh Halfpenny Age: 26 Height: 1.78m/5ft 10in Weight: 85kg/13st 5lb Positionally excellent and the best goal kicker in the world but Delo(...)

Ireland players line up for the anthems ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland - Six have been selected for our Six Nations team of the tournament. Photograph: Ian  MacNicol/Getty Images 9:27

15 Rob Kearney (Ireland):Leigh Halfpenny’s goal-kicking could give him the nod again. Stuart Hogg was electric and carried for 100 more metres. But Ke(...)

England  get held up just short of the try line in the dying seconds of the  Six Nations  match against France at Twickenham Stadium. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

England 55 France 35England fell short of being crowned Six Nations champions for the first time under Stuart Lancaster despite toppling France 55-35 (...)

 Yoann Maestri of France dives over to score a try during the  Six Nations match against  Italy  at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Italy 0 France 29France overpowered a lacklustre Italy side in Rome in a scrappy Six Nations clash to recover from back-to-back defeats to Ireland and(...)

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre. “He may  be a practical coach but the French media stone him for his inability to settle upon a team.” Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Only place to begin is at the end of Paris. When the Ides of March were overcome.Sexton had been carted off (not an omen just another reason to avoid (...)

Toulon’s  outhalf Nicolas Sanchez scores a try during the  Champions Cup match against Ulster  at the Stade Félix Mayol. Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Toulon 60 Ulster 22Steffon Armitage scored a hat-trick as Toulon secured top spot in Champions Cup Pool 3 with a game to spare thanks to a 60-22 bonus(...)

Maxime Mermoz playing for Toulon above, is one of four French changes. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

France manager Philippe Saint-Andre on Wednesday has named his team to face Argentina at the Stade de France on Saturday.Off-the-back of last weekend’(...)

Leinster’s Brian O’Driscoll is tackled by Matt Giteau during the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Toulon at the Felix Mayol Stadium, Toulon. Photograph: Getty Images

The half-time scoreline lied but the final scoreline tells no lies. Leinster were well beaten and could have no c(...)