France will 'trounce' All Blacks in opener says former French international

Magne, who was a part of the famous 1999 side that upset New Zealand in the semi-final, believed that there was only three real contenders for this year’s World Cup.

He predicted a “tough” opening game for the All Blacks as a “humiliation” could be on the cards similar to what France dealt to England during the Six Nations.

“To me, the Big Three of this World Cup is France, SA and Ireland,” said former France flanker Olivier Magne in the columns of Midi Olympique.

“I am especially worried about this New Zealand team.

France claim big win over Eddie Jones’ Wallabies before World Cup

Playing in front of a relentlessly vocal crowd at Stade de France on Sunday, the Wallabies showed plenty of fight and character against a spirited Les Bleus outfit.

Australia deserves some praise for their efforts, sure, but the men in gold are still yet to register a win under coach Jones after falling to their fifth defeat in as many starts – losing 41-17.

Walking through the streets of Saint-Denis, and up into the stands at Stade de France, it was immediately apparent why this venue is one of the most famous in Test rugby.

France held to draw by Jamaica

In last night's results, Denmark picked up a 1-0 win over China in their opening game, and Netherlands edged Portugal by the same margin.

The biggest shock came when Jamaica, despite being given a red cad, held heavyweights France to a nil-all draw.

Tonight sees Italy meet Argentina at Eden Park, world number two Germany face Morocco, and Brazil take on Panama.

On Sunday afternoon, South Africa almost managed to eclipse New Zealand for the biggest upset of the tournament so far in Wellington last night.

France bans buying fireworks for Bastille Day after riots

The government issued a decree on Sunday prohibiting "pyrotechnic articles" for the 14 July celebrations that mark France's national day.

The move comes after rioting sparked by last month's police killing of 17-year-old Nahel M by police in Nanterre.

However, the ban does not apply to official firework displays organised by local authorities.

France bans short-haul flights to cut carbon emissions

The law came into force two years after lawmakers had voted to end routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours.

The ban all but rules out air travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, while connecting flights are unaffected.

Critics have described the latest measures as "symbolic bans".

Laurent Donceel, interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), told the AFP news agency that "banning these trips will only have minimal effects" on CO2 output.

France Ambassador presents credentials to Nauru President

President Kun commended France’s commitment to the fight against climate change and applauded France’s recent One Ocean Summit and their support towards the Kiwa initiative project on Nauru.

“My country believes that building strong diplomatic relationships is essential for promoting regional and global cooperation.

“We welcome the opportunity to deepen our bilateral relations with France, particularly in areas of economic cooperation and cultural exchange,” President Kun said.

NZ-born lock Meafou commits to France over Australia

The 24-year-old - born in Auckland to Samoan parents - grew up in Australia and played lower-tier rugby with clubs in Melbourne and Sydney before ending up in France at the end of 2018 following a failed bid to break into American football.

Having lived in France for over four years, Meafou will soon be able to represent the nation when he meets World Rugby's five-year residency eligibility criteria.

"I would love to play for France," Meafou said in comments published by Britain's Telegraph newspaper.

France pension reforms: Constitutional Council clears age rise to 64

The Constitutional Council also rejected calls for a referendum by political opponents but struck out some of the reforms citing legal flaws.

Twelve days of protests have been held against the reforms since January.

In March, the government used a special constitutional power to force through the changes without a vote.

President Emmanuel Macron argues the reforms are essential to prevent the pension system collapsing and Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne tweeted on Friday that "tonight there is no winner, no loser".

Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pension protests

More than a million people took to the streets across France on Thursday, with 119,000 in Paris, according to figures from the interior ministry.

BBC reports Police fired tear gas at protesters in the capital and 80 people were arrested across the country.

The demonstrations were sparked by legislation raising the retirement age by two years to 64.

Fire engulfed the front door of the town hall in the southwest city of Bordeaux on Thursday evening after a day of protests and clashes.

Fiji set to play France and England in pre-World Cup warm ups

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Flying Fijians have only played in 11 Tests since the end of the last tournament in Japan.

But recently-appointed head coach Simon Raiwalui has revealed a far-reaching, five-match itinerary that involves games against three of the top 10 teams in the world rankings.

“We’ve got Tonga in Fiji on the 22nd (July) in Lautoka, Samoa in Apia on the 29th – I think it’ll be the first test match in Samoa for a number of years so that’ll be a good occasion – and Japan in Japan on the 5th (of August),” he said.