Wesley Fofana scores the first try for France during the Rugby World Cup Pool D encounter at stadium MK in Milton Keynes. Photograph:  Eddie Keogh/Reuters/Livepic

France 41 Canada 18 Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will have appreciated the discomfort that Canada inflicted on their vaunted opponents for three quarters(...)

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(...)

Anthony Watson goes over to score his and England’s  second try during the World Cup warm-up match against France at Twickenham. Photograph: David Davies/PA

England 19 France 14 Sam Burgess and Henry Slade played themselves into World Cup contention as England marked their 100th meeting with France with an(...)

Wayne Barnes will be the man in the middle for Leinster’s European Champions Cup semi-final against Toulon on Sunday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Played 6, won 3, drawn 0, lost 3.Leinster results when Wayne Barnes has refereed their matches since they won their first Heineken Cup in 2009. 2009-(...)

Morgan Parra of France cuts a dejected figure after the defeat to Wales at the Stade France at the weekend. Photograph Michael Steele/Getty Images

Problems continued to mount for the under-pressure France coach, Philippe Saint-André, after the scrum-half Morgan Parra and the centre Wesley Fofana (...)

  Morgan Parra starts for France, after bringing them back into contention off the bench against Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Philippe Saint-André was this week eulogising France scrumhalf Morgan Parra, admiring the tactical nous of a player who, at 26, is in his prime. Why (...)

France’s lock Sebastien Vahaamahina (L) and France’s outside centre Mathieu Bastareaud arrive for a training session in Marcoussis. Bastareaud has been dropped to the bench to face Wales. Photograph: Franck Fife/Getty Images

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has relegated powerful centre Mathieu Bastareaud to the bench for Saturday’s RBS Six Nations clash against Wales in(...)

 Jonathan Sexton played 66 minutes of Racing Metro’s 13-13 draw with Clermont Auvergne at Stade Yves-du-Manoir in Saturday’s Top 14 clash. Photograph:   Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton came through Racing Metro’s 13-13 draw with Clermont Auvergne on Saturday night, playing 66 minutes at the Stade Yves-du(...)

Ireland’s Mike Ross holds on to the shorts of French winger Teddy Thomas to make a vital tackle during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

THE BREAKDOWNIreland were outplayed here and had to send extra numbers in to try and hang on to possession. As a result France had a numerical superio(...)

  Ireland’s captain Paul O’Connell talks to his players during the 18-11 win over France  at the Aviva Stadium.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho 4:45

A Valentine’s Day game for the romantics it certainly was not but for all the talk of brawn beating brains in the modern game the result still shouts(...)