Mathieu Bastareaud powers over to score France’s third try in their win over Italy. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

France 34 Italy 17 Hugo Bonneval’s second-half try proved pivotal as France ended their nine-match winless run and left Italy facing another Six Nati(...)

France flyhalf Anthony Belleau in action against South Africa in November. Belleau is among the youngsters in the squad that could pose a threat in the Six Nations. Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

“I think the French are in a mess,” observed Ronan O’Gara as bluntly as ever at his first press conference in his new guise as the Crusaders back coac(...)

Thimoty Lafaele scores for Japan during their draw with France. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Yu Tamura botched his chance to give Japan a famous victory over France when he missed a simple conversion late on in a 23-23 draw at the U Arena in P(...)

France outhalf Francois Trinh-Duc  celebrates his team’s Six Nations victory over Wales at Stade de France. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

France 20 Wales 18 France beat Wales thanks to a converted try by Damien Chouly 20 minutes after full time had elapsed following an extraordinary and(...)

Camille Lopez celebrates  France’s win against Scotland. Photograph:Dan Sheridan/Inpho

At face value, France may not appear to have made huge strides under Guy Novès. In his dozen games as head coach, France have won five and lost seven,(...)

Montpellier head coach Jake White celebrates winning last year’s  Challenge Cup: he will be replaced by Scotland coach Vern Cotter. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Last September it was announced that current Scotland coach Vern Cotter would take over from Montpellier coach Jake White for the 2017-18 season. In (...)

Australia outhalf Bernard Foley  runs in to score his side’s second try during the international match against  France at Stade de France  in Paris. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

France 23 Australia 25 France missed an injury-time drop goal as stand-in outhalf Bernard Foley inspired Australia to a 25-23 win at the Stade de Fra(...)

France’s left wing Virimi Vakatawa  celebrates after scoring his third try in the game against Samoa  at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

France 52 Samoa 8 France performed a demolition job on Samoa in Toulouse on Saturday, scoring seven tries in a 52-8 romp, but they lost outhalf Franc(...)

Louis Picamoles and Johnny Sexton wil meet again when Leinster take on Nortahmpton in Pool 4 of the Champions Cup. Photograph:   Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

There is no obvious ‘Pool of Death’, but the four Irish provinces face a tall order to qualify It is four years since Leinster won the then Heineke(...)

Stuart Hogg and Greig Laidlaw celebrate Scotland’s Six Nations win over France. Photograph: Getty

Scotland 29 France 19 Now we can say at last that Scotland are starting to make progress. Not more than one step, but progress nevertheless. After th(...)

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