Mathieu Bastareaud, who looks leaner and fitter, in action against Canada at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes. Photograph: Reuters

A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire. Roughly translated: To win without peril (is) to triumph without glory. There was a time when French(...)

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau shows the England defence a clean pair of heels at Twickenham. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP photo

England 25 Wales 28 Sometimes a game actually lives up the hype, and in this instance that’s really saying something. After nearly two years of(...)

France’s Rabah Slimani, Mathieu Bastareaud, Teddy Thomas, Wesley Fofana and Yoann Huget. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

You won’t find Trappes or Sarcelles in any Parisian travel guide. These two suburbs of the French capital, Trappes to the south and Sarcelles to th(...)

Eddie O’Sullivan: Foreign coaches tend not to flourish in French club rugby.  Photograph: Alan Betson

News of Eddie O’Sullivan’s apparent dismissal as head coach of Biarritz Olympique will have understandably disappointed the many pundits, coaches a(...)

Serge Blanco dives to score a magical try and give France a 30-24 win over Australia in the 1987 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Getty

With Australia and New Zealand through to the semi-finals of the inaugural World Cup, where they would play France and Wales respectively, it seeme(...)

Captain David Kirk kisses the Webb Ellis Cup after the All Blacks’ 29-9 World Cup final win over France in 1987. Photograph: Getty

The Rugby World Cup is a devilishly difficult tournament to win. To do so requires countless permutations to work in your favour and as well as talent(...)

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(...)

Toulon celebrate winning the European Champions Cup after beating Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

So Toulon are entitled to be labelled the European Cup’s greatest ever team? For a club which only competed in one Heineken Cup prior to its current t(...)

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 (...)

“Ireland played great footy and deserved to win (last November), but the kicking was way too much. That’s not how we play. The mindset is a massive difference.”

The Six Nations is the pinnacle of European international rugby. The greats of the game, leapt to the world’s attention through their actions in the c(...)