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(...)

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(...)

Toulouse coach Guy Noves will take over from  Philippe Saint-Andre as France coach  after the World Cup. Photo:  Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images

Toulouse coach Guy Noves will take over as France head coach after this year’s World Cup, attempting to give back Les Bleus some of the grace they ha(...)

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 (...)

Italy head coach Jacques Brunel.

So what’s this about Romulus and Remus forming the secondrow partnership for Italy? In historically referring to the twin founders of Rome, it (...)