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.

Amicable resolution sought over disputed Matthew and Hunter Islands

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported that last month the two countries concluded a second round of maritime boundary negotiations in Belgium.

The disputed islands lie south-south-east of Vanuatu and New Caledonia and have been the cause of recent tensions after a French naval mission landed in January and planted their flag.

Vanuatu claims sovereignty over Matthew and Hunter.

Dominion of the islands includes the surrounding ocean and seabed with its commensurate commercial prospects.

France won't cede disputed islands to Vanuatu

The long-running dispute over the Matthew and Hunter Islands, which sit between New Caledonia and Vanuatu, flared again recently with the visit of a French warship.

The dispute has been going on for decades, and tempers flared when the French crew painted the tricolour flag on a large rock in January.

That led to calls for Vanuatu to expel French diplomats.

Vanuatu's foreign minister rejected those calls, instead calling for negotiations with Paris to resume.

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.

     

New Caledonia restates France's claim on Matthew, Hunter islands

They issued a statement after the pro-independence FLNKS movement restated its position that Matthew and Hunter islands belonged to Vanuatu's heritage.

The three said last November's independence referendum showed a majority of New Caledonians wanted to stay French.

They said they would therefore oppose any attempt to dispossess the country of part of its land and wealth.

FLNKS leader Daniel Goa said unlike the people of Vanuatu, the Kanaks had no cultural links to the two islands.

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.   

Vanuatu presses France for talks over Matthew and Hunter

During a French naval mission to the small uninhabited islands in January, France reportedly took action to re-enforce its sovereignty, when officers landed, polished a plaque and painted the French flag on a rock.

Johnny Koanapo, who has represented Vanuatu's claim in talks with France, said the unilateral move complicated the negotiations.

"We, the people of Vanuatu, will not take this lightly. We are very concerned and we want France to give a proper explanation," he said.

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.