Home Sport France looking forward to Rugby World Cup after Grand Slam victory

France looking forward to Rugby World Cup after Grand Slam victory

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Les Bleus played some superb rugby again as they beat England 25-13 at the Stade de France for their first title since 2010, the year of their previous Grand Slam, less than 18 months before they host the sport’s extravaganza.

France’s players react after winning the Grand Slam following the Six Nations rugby match against England in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, France, 19 March 2022. Picture: Christophe Petit Tesson, EPA

Les Bleus played some superb rugby again as they beat England 25-13 at the Stade de France for their first title since 2010, the year of their previous Grand Slam, less than 18 months before they host the sport’s extravaganza.

Paris – France finally claimed a Six Nations Grand Slam on Saturday after years of frustrations and some near misses and can now look towards next year’s World Cup on home soil with confidence.

Les Bleus played some superb rugby again as they beat England 25-13 at the Stade de France for their first title since 2010, the year of their previous Grand Slam, less than 18 months before they host the sport’s extravaganza.

France will move up to second in the world rankings, for the first time since 2007, two years after Fabien Galthie took over as head coach, and they look to be on the way up.

Under the former Les Bleus international, who was France’s captain when they achieved a Grand Slam in 2002, they finished second in the Six Nations in 2020 behind England on points difference and were again runners-up, to Wales, last year.

This year they entered the championship riding the wave of a sensational victory against New Zealand last November and they did not disappoint.

“There’s a lot of joy. When you win it means you’ve been doing good work, made the right choices and found the right direction,” Galthie told a news conference after his team won their eighth consecutive test on Saturday.

“We’re on the right path. We’re still a young team that will grow and will improve. This team is only 26 years old on average. There is no reason why they should not improve.”

Such is Galthie’s confidence that the coach has already pencilled in the World Cup final.

“Tonight was our 25th game together and the World Cup final will be our 46th,” he said.

Captain Antoine Dupont, who scored a try on Saturday but more tellingly managed 15 tackles – more than any other French player – is also looking forward to the World Cup.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about a lot and we can’t wait, obviously,” the scrumhalf said.

France made a handful of handling and passing errors in the first half, which kept England in the game and tested their nerves.

“Today was a bit different. There was a lot of tension because of the expectations,” said Galthie.

“It was beautifully tense, it’s something we had not experienced yet. This kind of closed game, with a lot at stake on every phase of play, it was amazing and it will help us grow.”

Former France international Yannick Nyanga, who won the Six Nations in 2006, believes this French team could be the best the country has ever had.

“We might have the best France team ever assembled,” Nyanga told French rugby website Rugbyrama.

Reuters

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