RBS Six Nations – France Rugby Matches and Tickets 2014

Michael 18/11/2013 no comments »
RBS Six Nations – France Rugby Matches and Tickets 2014

12.12.2013. France were hugely disappointing in last year’s Six Nations as they posted only one victory against Scotland in Paris, so finished bottom of the standings. Head Coach Philippe Saint-Andre will be desperate to improve ‘Les Bleus’ performances in 2014, and the pressure is on to do just that starting with their first Six Nations fixture on February 1st.

France vs England – February 1st 2014

France have not beaten England in the Six Nations for two years as a 23-13 loss at Twickenham last year followed the 22-24 home defeat in Paris in 2012. ‘Les Bleus’ know that last year’s tournament performance was nowhere near the level expected of a French side so the Stade De France will be expectant of better starting against the English on February the 1st.

England have several top drawer players they can call upon with Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole and Captain Chris Robshaw in the forwards, along with Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs and Chris Ashton in the backs, thus meaning that it will be an extremely hard game first up for France.

France vs Italy – February 9th 2014

France will be pumped up to gain revenge for their 18-23 loss in Rome last year when they host the Italians in Paris on the 9th February. That was the second year in succession that ‘Les Bleus’ were defeated in the eternal city so they will want to produce a good performance in front of their countrymen to make up for it.

One positive is that the Italians have never won in Paris and the Stade De France will be hoping that record continues in 2014. Despite this it will still be a very tough game for the French as the Italians are improving every year and have a formidable forward pack that includes Toulon player Martin Castrogiavanni, and Treviso hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini so can cause any team problems. Behind the pack is Captain and Stade Francais flanker Sergio Parisse who is a truly world class talent and one which France will have to contain if they are to gain the victory.

Wales vs France – 21st February 2014

France will then make the daunting trip to Cardiff to play the current Six Nations Champions Wales in what should be an extremely tough match for ‘Les Bleus’. France will be smarting after last season’s 6-16 defeat to Wales in Paris, and will look to inflict a reverse score line against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Their last win in Cardiff was back in 2010 when they won by 20-26, so Head Coach Philippe Saint-Andre will be hoping for a repeat of that exact scenario in 2014.

Wales have a squad packed with world class talent with scrum-half Mike Phillips behind a forward pack that includes Ospreys Adam Jones and Captain Sam Warburton. Whilst in the backs they have destructive runners in Alex Cuthbert and George North, along with points machine Leigh Halfpenny.

Scotland vs France – 8th March 2014

France then make the trip to Murrayfield in Edinburgh to take on Scotland, in what ‘Les Bleus’ will hope will be a repeat of either their 17-23 victory in 2012 or their more comfortable 9-18 win back in 2010.

Despite the last two successes, it is never an easy game against Scotland and Murrayfield will be packed to the rafters hoping for an upset. The Scots do possess some quality players in their ranks too with British and Irish Lions tourists Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland in the backs, along with Euan Murray and Captain Kelly Brown in the forwards so it will be tough for the French.

France against Ireland – 15th March 2014

France end their 2014 Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland in what Head Coach Philippe Saint-Andre will hope is a Championship decider for ‘Les Bleus’. France will look to improve from last year’s 13-13 draw in Dublin and end the 2014 tournament on a high with a victory.

France amazingly also drew with Ireland the last time they met in Paris as the score that occasion was 17-17 in 2012, so a win by any margin will be the target for the French in 2014. Ireland have numerous quality players in their squad with the legend that is Brian O’Driscoll still a force, along with Rob Kearney and Jonathan Sexton in the backs. Whilst in the forwards they have Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip and Rory Best so another tough assignment looks on the cards for the French.

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Stadium – Stade de France Paris

Stade de France Paris

Stade de France Paris

The Stade de France has been the recent venue for International Rugby matches. The ground is shared between themselves and the national football team. The capacity of the stadium is 81,388 which makes it the sixth largest stadium in Europe. It has hosted both a Rugby and a Football World Cup Final. It was opened in 1998 and has held the Six Nations home matches since 2000. France has also played in Toulouse, Marseille and Lyon amongst other stadiums.

Rivals

France’s biggest rivals in this year’s Six Nations will be England who are ranked two places above France in 4th place. The French side will also be looking for revenge for last time the two sides met in the Six Nations that ended 23-13 to England.

 

Six Nations 2013

France is currently ranked 4th in the world and was a finalist in the Rugby World Cup 2011 where they lost against New Zealand with 8-7. France is a strong team and one of the favourites to win the Six Nations in 2013. They were favourites for the 2012 competition, but a poor performance saw them only finish fourth. Current Head Coach is Phillipe Saint-Andre and captain is Thierry Dusautoir.

Current

The French team has a quality squad and some of the biggest names in the world of rugby such as Vincent Clerc and scrum half Morgan Parra. However, France had problems filling the boots of fly half in recent years and will look to resurrect these issues. France will be looking to improve on recent good performances which have left them considered to be amongst the world’s best teams. There are huge expectations from the French rugby. Can the French team deliver? Only time will tell.

France v Wales – February 9th, 2013

France will face a tough match against Wales on February 9th in their first Six Nations match at the Stade de France. Wales is currently 9th in the IRB World Standings. They slipped in the rankings after a disappointing Autumn Internationasl where they lost to Argentina (12-26), Samoa (19-26), New Zealand (10-33) and Australia (12-14). However, Wales is the current Six Nations Grand Slam champion and won the Six Nations in 2012 without a loss for the third time in eight years. So, Wales shouldn’t be underestimated and the player to watch is Rhys Priestland. However, France is currently on a high and in great shape. This game will certainly be a highlight of the Six Nations at the Stade de France.

France v Scotland – March 16th, 2013

In the last game of the Six Nations, France will play Scotland at home at the Stade de France on March 16th. Scotland is currently 12th in the IRB World Rankings and lost all the Autumn International tests against New Zealand (22-51), South Africa (10-21) and Tonga (15-21). France also won the last 5 matches against Scotland – the last one on February 26th with 17-23. However, Scotland is not to be underestimated as they beat Australia with 6-9 on June 3rd 2012. The player to watch in the Scotland squad is Greig Laidlaw.

History

Frances International career didn’t start until 1906 when New Zealand visited Paris. France made the Home Nations into the Five Nations when they joined in 1910. They didn’t win a Five Nations competition until the mid 50’s, however were thrown out of the competition by organisers because they were accused of professionalism in an amateur sport. France were forced to play weaker opposition and went on a 10 match unbeaten run between 1931 and 1936.

In the 60’s, France won their first Grand Slam title, beating all 4 other teams, and in later years won numerous titles. Their second Grand Slam title came in 1977 where they created history by fielding the same players in every game of the championship. They then later beat the All Blacks in Toulouse and then in Auckland beat them for the first time in New Zealand. In 1981 and 1987 they won Grand Slams in both years, and then went on to compete in the inaugural World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. France showed great resilience coming back from behind on numerous occasions to set up a Final with New Zealand only to be 29-9. However, the next year they shared the Five Nations crown with Wales, to then win the title once again a season later in 1989.

France hosted some of the 1991 World Cup matches, making their exit in the quarter finals to England. They then went on to win the Five Nations in 1993 and then winning it again in 1997 and 1998 with back-to-back Grand Slam titles. In 1995 they were knocked out of the World Cup at the semi finalists, being beaten by the eventual winners the Springboks. France then went even closer to winning the World Cup in 1999, only to be stopped at the final hurdle by Australia. This was their second appearance in the final of the World Cup.

The Five Nations became the Six Nations as Italy joined in. France won the Grand slam in 2002, and again in 2004. They went on to win the title again in 2006 and successfully defended it in 2007. In the 2003, World Cup once again reached the semi finals, only to be knocked out by the eventual champions England. In 2007, after successfully defending their Six Nations crown, but once again lost to England in the Semi Finals. 2010 brought their ninth Grand Slam title, only to be halted in the final of the 2011 World Cup by New Zealand, narrowly missing out on a win. Having made 3 World Cup finals, France are one of the most consistent team to compete, however have never made the step up to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

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