Scrumhalf Aaron Smith’s dynamic contributions have enabled New Zealand to play with the fast tempo that has become their hallmark. Photograph:   Phil Walter/Getty Images

Go through the history of the Rugby World Cup and aside from having a celebrated number 10, the eventual champions invariably have the world’s best(...)

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(...)

French newspaper L’Obs Sport have reported the France squad have rebelled against coach Philippe Saint-André. Photograph: Afp

France’s rugby players are reported to have staged a “discreet” rebellion against their coach, Philippe Saint-André, less than 48 hours before Les Ble(...)

 Peter O’Mahony receives treatment  at the Millennium Stadium.

Peter O’Mahony has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with knee ligament damage as Ireland continue to count the cost of yesterday’s bruis(...)

Rob Kearney crosses to score the opening try for Ireland against France at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland 24 France 9 The scoreline takes some believing. So too the performance. To lose their two most important players, their talisman and their lea(...)

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(...)

Ireland winger  Tommy Bowe scores a try against France in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

2012 Six Nations Championship France 17 Ireland 17, Stade de France This was the first draw between the sides since 1985 and represented (...)

Gordon D’Arcy celebrates with his  team-mates after scoring against France after his return from injury  in 2009. “The lads mobbed me because they understood what their team-mate had been through, where he had to climb from to wear a green jersey again.” Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP

Being a recently retired player I know how everyone in the Ireland squad will be feeling. As Sunday comes closer public fears might be growing about F(...)

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(...)