Josh Strauss replaces Ryan Wilson at number eight in the Scotland team. Photograph: Getty Images

SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIPS Scotland v France Murrayfield, Sunday, 3.0pm RTÉ 2, BBC 1 Vern Cotter hopes to nullify France’s muscular threat after r(...)

 Guy Noves has promised a return to traditional French running rugby.

Coach: Guy Noves After a hugely successful coaching tenure spanning 22 years, ten Top 14 championships and four Heineken Cups with Toulouse, Noves (...)

New Zealander Maa Nonu in action for Toulon against Agen at the weekend: what Toulon are doing, while amazing to watch, is concocted in Mourad Boudjellal’s office. Photograph: Bertrand langlois/AFP

With the big picture barely sketched by Leo Cullen and Girvan Dempsey, a trip to Toulon is hardly the time for experimentation. This calls for an accu(...)

Toulouse’s French fullback Maxime Medard  scores a try against Oyonnax in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images

It was left to Ospreys to haul a solitary scrap of pride among Pro12 sides from a weekend in which all seven teams in action in the Champions Cup left(...)

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, (...)

Ireland’s Tommy Bowe in action against France in last week’s final pool stage match at the Millennium Stadium. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Accentuate the heavy toll then highlight those who remain. With Paul O’Connell under the knife, Peter O’Mahony forced home and Seán O’Brien wanderi(...)

France’s centre Mathieu Bastareaud:  Inevitably, I am very disappointed. There are plenty of things I’ve done wrong. I had a bad game. I am not ashamed in admitting it.

The headline in French sports bible L’Equipe proclaimed ‘The Blues Not Up to Standard,’ as they reflected on Ireland’s 24-9 at the Millennium stadium (...)

France’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Yoann Maestri bring Ireland hooker Rory Best crashing to the Millennium Stadium turf. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The risk is to list out all 23 Irish players and wax lyrical about their extraordinary performance. What harm? They were extraordinary and so too were(...)

Ireland coach joe Schmidt is expecting a combative encounter against France on Sunday. Photograph: Afp

This Gallic-Irish showdown has always been highlighted as the potentially defining game of both countries in this World Cup. Now it has suddenly loome(...)

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 (...)