France

Ireland knock off Wales, France thrash Italy

The Irish, beaten 57-15 by England, won in Cardiff for the first time since August 2015 after scoring three tries in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match, two for Jacob Stockdale and a penalty try bringing Wales' 11-game home winning streak stretching back to November 2017 to an end.

 The two teams meet again next Saturday in Dublin and the defeat will rankle more with Gatland as he remains bitter about the manner in which he was dismissed as head coach by the Irish in 2001.

"It was massive for us," man of the match Jack Carty told Channel 4.

Brunel still unsure of final France squad for Rugby World Cup

Brunel initially named a young group of 31 plus six reserves on June 18, more than three months before the start of the tournament in Japan, leaving out Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra entirely.

But having since worked with the extended squad of 37 and made various changes for injuries, while beating Scotland at home and losing away in back-to-back warm-up matches, Brunel is still pondering his options.

Les Bleus host Italy on Friday in their final match before heading to Japan, where they begin their campaign with a tricky test against Argentina on September 21.

Another All Black off to France

The club has announced that the 28-year-old has signed a three-year deal.

Whitelock has played sevens Tests for the All Blacks.

Highlanders teammate and All Black outside back Ben Smith announced in December that he has heading to Pau at the end of the year.

Pau are coached by Simon Mannix and the club has a number of New Zealanders playing including Jamie McIntosh, Peter Saili, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor.

They are currently 11th in the Top 14 championship.

     

Ireland keep title hopes alive after demolishing France

After misfiring in an opening loss to England, and stuttering wins over Italy and Scotland, the defending champions completely overwhelmed the French, with tries from Rory Best, Johnny Sexton and Jack Conan opening up a 19-0 halftime lead.   

The bonus point was secured just before the hour, when Keith Earls's 30th international try made him Ireland's joint second-highest tryscorer.

The winning margin would likely have been a record over France, were it not for late tries from Yoann Huget and Camille Chat.   

Germany suffer historic defeat

It has been a woeful year for Germany's national team, with off-field controversy and a shambolic World Cup campaign attracting headlines for the wrong reason.

In terms of results, Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Netherlands was the worst, as they were comfortably swept aside by Ronald Koeman's young team.

But two of their most crucial defeats came in Russia, as they lost 1-0 to Mexico in their opening group game and were then dumped out before the knockout phase as a result of a 2-0 reverse at the hands of South Korea.

France shocked by video of woman being slapped by harasser

Marie Laguerre shared CCTV video of the man slapping her outside a cafe in the north-east of the capital.

The video has gone viral and coincides with a government push to impose on-the-spot fines for street harassment.

"The first fines should be handed out this autumn," said Equalities Minister Marlène Schiappa.

Offenders will have to pay between €90 (£80; $105) and €750 under a package of measures that was backed by French MPs in May and is set to complete its passage through parliament this week.

France get heroes' welcome in Paris

A 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow on Sunday secured France their second World Cup triumph, sparking non-stop celebrations back home.

Supporters swarmed the Champs-Elysees, Paris' most famous avenue, after the game and saw their heroes projected on to the Arc de Triomphe, with more than a million people reported to have taken to the street in the area to celebrate through the night.

Mbappe wins Young Player award

The Paris Saint-Germain star is the second France player in a row to win the prize, after team-mate Paul Pogba claimed four years ago.

The award, which can only be won by players born on or after January 1, is given to the outstanding young footballer at the finals.

"Technical qualities such as skill, style and charisma are taken into account, but so are other important factors such as a sense of fair play and a genuine impression that the player is playing for the love of the game," according to FIFA.

France 4 Croatia 2

Following a tournament packed with thrills and drama, the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium lived up to what preceded it from the moment Les Bleus hit the front through an 18th-minute own goal by Mario Mandzukic – a cruel role reversal for Croatia's extra-time hero in the semi-final win over England.

Zlatko Dalic's side had started the stronger and levelled through a fine Ivan Perisic strike before the Inter player was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box, as VAR made its first impact upon a World Cup final.

France 1 Belgium 0

Defender Umtiti headed home a corner from Antoine Griezmann in the 51st minute to settle the all-European tie, booking Les Bleus a trip to Moscow and a clash against either Croatia or England.

Goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois both made smart saves to make sure an intriguing game remained scoreless at the interval.

However, Umtiti popped up with the game's telling moment early in the second half, nodding the ball home to score his third international goal.