Is the French Team Running Out at the Rugby World Cup the Best of This Century? - The Rugby Observer

Is the French Team Running Out at the Rugby World Cup the Best of This Century?

Rugby Editorial 10th Oct, 2023 Updated: 11th Oct, 2023   0

The 2023 Rugby World Cup kicked off this month and has already been filled with drama and excitement. As fans tune in to watch their national sides compete to lift the trophy, the host side, France, have wowed spectators and firmly established themselves as serious tournament contenders.

According to some experts, this French side are more than mere World Cup favourites. With some incredible talent, many believe this is the best French national rugby team of this century. Are they correct? Let’s find out.

The French Team

The French national rugby team is led by head coach Fabien Galthie. Since his appointment in 2020, he has transformed the side. France have toiled in the rugby world in recent times, going through a trophy drought unheard of for the rugby-mad nation. In an effort to turn things around, Galthie was named head coach, and his impact was immediate.

Since taking the reins, France have placed first and second in the Six Nations and are now runaway favouties to lift the World Cup trophy.

This French team is packed with talent and is considered by many to be one of the finest French sides ever. It features scrum-half Antoine Dupont, widely lauded as the best player in the world. Other stars include winger Damian Penaud, midfielder Jonathan Danty and flanker Cameron Woki.

How Have They Performed So Far?

Expectations were high for France before the tournament, and they proved supporters right when they comfortably dispatched New Zealand by 27 – 13 in the opening game of the competition.

Their next game saw them take on Uruguay. The South Americans were not expected to do well, and rugby odds were as steep as 200-1 for a Uruguay win. However, they proved to be far tougher than many expected. After 53 minutes, France were clinging on to a narrow 13-12 lead, and Uruguay were piling on the pressure and looked the most likely team to win. In the end, France showed their class and dug in to turn things around. The hosts emerged as 27 – 12 victors, overcoming what was a courageous but ultimately limited Uruguay side.

What Next for France?

While France had a relatively easy run in these early tournament stages, things will get more difficult later on. There are some seriously talented teams in this year’s World Cup, with South Africa and Ireland in particular expected to pose a real threat – you can understand how these factors play into odds on this site.

However, France will need to overcome these hurdles if they want to go on and claim the trophy and be crowned as the greatest French rugby side of the century.


Much has been said about this French side and, while performances have been good, they still have it all to prove. If they do go on to lift the trophy, there will be few who could deny that they are the greatest of the century.


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