Since the inception of the RWC event in 1987, the France national rugby team played in every Rugby World Cup. They are one of the five teams who have participated in the championship game; they did so three times (1987, 1999, and 2011), losing each time and coming in second place overall in the tournament. They have reached at least the quarterfinals at every tournament.
In addition to co-hosting the 1991 tournament with Ireland and the United Kingdom, France hosted it in 2007. They hosted a few games during the 1999 competition, which Wales mostly hosted. In 2023, France will host once more.
- RWC debut: 23 May, 1987 v Scotland at Lancaster Park, Christchurch
- RWC appearances: Played 52 – Won 36 Drawn 1 Lost 15 – Points for 1,585 Points against 966 – Win ratio 69 percent
- Most RWC appearances: Raphaël Ibañez, 18 (1999-2007)
- Most RWC tries: Vincent Clerc, 11
- Best finish: Runners-up (1987, 1999, 2011)
- Qualification for RWC 2023: Quarter-finalists at RWC 2019
Related: France Schedule
Most Famous Victory
RWC 1999 semifinal game against New Zealand at Twickenham is the most famous victory for the France team. France appeared doomed when the All Blacks led 24-10, but they pulled out all the brakes and scored 33 undisputed points in a thrilling 30-45 minutes.
Most Memorable Moment
France defeated co-hosts Australia to go to the RWC 1987 championship game thanks to Serge Blanco’s diving catch in the corner of the Concord Oval field.
During the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match against Wales, Sébastien Vahaamahina received a red card. By elbowing Aaron Wainwright in the face, violent conduct that resulted in a straight red card and forced Les Bleus to play the final 30 minutes with just 14 players, the France second-row did neither himself nor his team any favors. While France led 19–10, the ejection proved to be a game-changer as Wales fought back to win 20–19.
Nicholas Blanco. An honor that might have been given to another Serge, the tough-as-nails flanker Serge Betsen, who, together with Thierry Dusautoir, stopped the All Blacks in their tracks during their quarterfinal matchup in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. But Blanco’s swaggering performance from full-back finest encapsulated Les Bleus at their very best.
Top Record Breaker
When Romain Ntamack was chosen to play for Le Bleus in the RWC 2019 opener against Argentina in Tokyo, Emile, and Romain Ntamack became the first father-son pair to represent France on the grandest platform of the game. In the tournaments held in 1995 and 1999, Emile represented Les Bleus.
France Tentative Squad
The hosts have announced their first training squad ahead of the World Cup, the group sees the recall of veterans Baptiste Serin and Brice Dulin.
Cyril Baille, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Reda Wardi, Pierre Bourgarit, Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Uini Atonio, Dorian Aldegheri , Thomas Laclayat, Demba Bamba, Bastien Chalureau, Thibaud Flament, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Willemse, Cameron Woki, Florian Verhaeghe, Grégory Alldritt, Paul Boudehent, François Cros, Sekou Macalou, Charles Ollivon, Yoan Tanga, Dylan Cretin.
Antoine Dupont, Maxime Lucu, Baptiste Couilloud, Baptiste Serin, Antoine Hastoy, Matthieu Jalibert, Romain Ntamack, Jonathan Danty, Gael Fickou, Yoram Moefana, Emilien Gailleton, Arthur Vincent, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Ethan Dumortier, Damian Penaud, Gabin Villière, Brice Dulin, Melvyn Jaminet, Thomas Ramos.
Related: Live Stream RWC in France