France rugby union team


July 5, 2022

The French rugby union team, also known as the XV of France, the Blues or the Tricolors, is the team that represents France in major rugby union competitions. It brings together the best players in France under the patronage of the USFSA (1906-1919), then of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) since 1919. A selection of Parisian players, the precursor of the French team, won the title at the Paris Olympics in 1900, then the national team won two silver medals in 1920 and 1924. In 1910, France was admitted to participate in the competition between Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales, which on this occasion takes the name of the Five Nations Tournament (called Tournament in the rest of the article) and thus makes its learning international rugby by competing against these teams. She reached their level in the mid-1950s and won the first of her 26 victories in the Tournament in 1954. In 1968, the XV of France signed its first Grand Slam (nine more would follow until 2022). On a world level, since its very first international match in 1906, the XV of France has known a historic rivalry with the New Zealand team, marked by its first victory at Eden Park in Auckland (1979), its " test from the end of the world” victorious in 1994 in the same place (where the All Blacks have never been beaten since then), two successes in the World Cup (semi-final 1999 and quarter-final 2007) and two defeats in the final world competition (1987 and 2011), before suffering a historic 62-13 loss in the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup. On the European continent, it is with England that the rivalry is the strongest, the annual oppositions between the two nations having earned the name The Crunch (the crucial moment). The XV of France, three times finalist of the World Cup and counting, since the victorious tour of 1958 in South Africa, among the best rugby teams on the planet, has earned over its history the reputation of playing a game offensive much appreciated by fans of rugby union, in France and abroad, where it is called the Beautiful game or the French flair. But the selection went through a difficult period during the 2010s, with a high percentage of defeats sanctioned by disappointing results in competition and tenth place in the national rugby team rankings in February 2019. Its best ranking was second place, notably in 2007. Under the Fabien Galthié era from 2020, the renewed XV of France has had good results and moved up the world rankings, appearing in second place in March 2022, and winning its tenth Grand Slam, twelve years after the previous one. , at the end of the 2022 Six Nations Tournament. This team has had many talented players, such as Serge Blanco, Jean-Pierre Rives, Philippe Sella, Jean Prat, Jo Maso and André Boniface who are part of the International Rugby Hall of Fame.


Origins of the XV of France

Rugby union was introduced to France in 1872 by English merchants who founded Le Havre Athletic club rugby. The first international match took place at the Edinburgh Stadium between Scotland and England on March 27, 1871, but France would have to wait 35 years to have a team that could face the British national teams. The first French rugby union team of the USFSA was formed in 1893 to face the Civil Service Athletic Club team in England. This French selection is exclusively made up of players from two Parisian clubs, Racing Club de France and Stade Français. On February 13, the French selection faces the Civil Service in front of 10,000 spectators and loses narrowly on the score of 2 to 0. The next day, second