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 (...)

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(...)

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(...)