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France v Italy LIVE: Six Nations 2024 latest score and updates from Lille

France v Italy LIVE: Six Nations 2024 latest score and updates from Lille


(PA)

France host Italy in round three of the Six Nations this afternoon hoping to build on their impressive, albeit controversial, win over Scotland and complete back-to-back victories in this campaign.

Les Bleus opened the competition in Marseille where they were hammered 38-17 by Ireland and travel to Lille this afternoon as renovation work continues on the Stade de France ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. France bounced back for a 20-16 success against Scotland at Murrayfield though the hosts were controversially denied a last-gasp winning try.

In contrast, Italy, who are being led by new head coach Gonzalo Quesada, started the Six Nations well with a testing and competitive 24-27 loss to England in Rome. Much like France, their confidence took a hit when they came up against the Irish who romped to a 36-0 victory in Dublin last time out.

The Azzurri will be hoping to bounce back from that loss and record a third-ever Six Nations victory over France when the two sides clash this afternoon.

Follow all the Six Nations action below plus get the latest odds and tips right here:

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Pre-match thoughts from France head coach Fabien Galthie:

“When you compete in the Six Nations, it’s like a 400m race, you start by sprinting and you have to accelerate at each turn.

“We want to play better and specifically defend better. Playing better also means without the ball. We need to be more disciplined. We must first be strong on the basics: solidarity, commitment and courage.”

Mike Jones25 February 2024 14:00

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Who is Six Nations official Christophe Ridley?

Christophe Ridley will make his Six Nations debut after being appointed to referee the round three clash between France and Italy.

The talented young Englishman joins the officiating panel as a lead official after the retirement of Wayne Barnes, having worked closely with his compatriot during his career so far.

A former member of the academy at Leicester Tigers, Ridley switched to refereeing after a series of injuries and has developed quickly through the ranks after studying at the University of Gloucestershire.

Students on the sports scholarship programme at the university benefit from the expertise of three-time World Cup official Chris White, who helped both Ridley and fellow top official Matthew Carley develop.

Ridley’s Premiership debut came in 2018, taking charge of London Irish vs Wasps, and the 30-year-old travelled to last year’s World Cup as an assistant.

His Six Nations debut comes as one of four English referees appointed to games in the championship, with Carley, Karl Dickson and Luke Pearce all earning selection again.

Mike Jones25 February 2024 13:51

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Steve Borthwick describes England’s defeat to Scotland as ‘real painful lesson’

Frustrated Steve Borthwick felt his work-in-progress England team were taught “a real painful lesson” by a Duhan Van Der Merwe-inspired Scotland after the Red Rose crashed to a fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup defeat at Murrayfield.

The visitors arrived in Edinburgh hoping to make it three Guinness Six Nations victories in a row, but after a bright start in which a George Furbank try helped them carve a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter of an hour.

However, they lost their way and were put to the sword by their clinical hosts who ran out 30-21 winners.

Mike Jones25 February 2024 13:43

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England heading in right direction overall under Steve Borthwick – Jamie George

Jamie George conceded England were “not good enough” in their Calcutta Cup defeat to Scotland but the captain remained adamant they were heading in the right direction overall under Steve Borthwick.

The Red Rose lost 30-21 at Murrayfield on Saturday, bringing to an end their unbeaten start to this year’s Guinness Six Nations campaign after narrow wins away to Italy and at home to Wales.

England had arrived in Edinburgh having won eight of their previous nine matches, with their only setback in that run being the agonising World Cup semi-final defeat by eventual winners South Africa in October.

Mike Jones25 February 2024 13:31

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France ready to take on Italy

France had their captain’s run in Lille on Friday and are ready to go for today’s clash

Luke Baker25 February 2024 13:22

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What are smart mouthguards and how are they being used in the Six Nations?

Round two of the Six Nations featured a historic moment as Scotland hooker George Turner became the first player in the championship’s history to be removed after his smart mouthguard detected a collision which could have caused a concussion.

Turner was removed from the pitch during the first half of Scotland’s defeat to France for a head injury assessment after his mouthguard alerted medical staff of a significant head acceleration event after a tackle made on Charles Ollivon. The front rower passed his assessment and returned to the field.

Luke Baker25 February 2024 13:05

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Wales boss Warren Gatland backs Ireland for grand slam glory

Wales boss Warren Gatland backed Ireland to clinch back-to-back grand slam titles after his side suffered a 31-7 Six Nations defeat in Dublin.

Tries from Dan Sheehan, James Lowe, Ciaran Frawley and Tadhg Beirne kept Andy Farrell’s reigning champions on course to become the first team to achieve the feat in the Six Nations era.

Ireland travel to Twickenham to take on England on March 9 before hosting Scotland on the final weekend of the tournament. Gatland, who led Wales to three grand slams during his first spell in charge, believes Ireland’s ominous march towards another clean sweep will be difficult to stop.

“I think they’re definitely capable of doing it,” he said. “They’ve got the experience and the composure and players who can carry and get them on the front foot.

“I think they will be a hard team to knock over.”

(PA Wire)

Luke Baker25 February 2024 12:45

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Gonzalo Quesada urges Italy to impose their ideas on France

Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada has shuffled the pack for the France clash as inside centre Federico Mori returns to the XV for the first time in nearly two years and scrum-half Martin Page-Relo makes his first Six Nations start.

Zebre second-rower Matteo Canali could make his debut from the bench, while Ross Vintcent and Riccardo Favretto are also handed their first Azzurri starts and Quesada is hoping Italy can “impose” their ideas.

He told the Italian Rugby Federation website: “I didn’t count how many changes I made in the line-up compared to the Ireland match. We are adapting to Sunday’s game and dealing with some injuries.

“The group is the same one that worked for three weeks together. I’m working hard to give maximum opportunities to the players we feel are ready – let’s try to maintain our commitment.

“France will want to bring a lot of physicality but we have to play our game and impose our game ideas.”

It’s been a tough start to life as Italy coach for Gonzalo Quesada

(AFP via Getty Images)

Luke Baker25 February 2024 12:25

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France backing Posolo Tuilagi to bring energy against Italy

France assistant coach Laurent Sempere has praised Posolo Tuilagi for his energy as the lock prepares to make his first start for Les Bleus against Italy in the Six Nations.

The 19-year-old has been named in the starting XV for the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.

After losing their opening game to Ireland, France bounced back with a dramatic victory against Scotland at Murrayfield, leaving them fourth in the table ahead of the third round of matches.

Tuilagi has featured from the bench in both games so far and co-coach Sempere was full of praise for the teenager.

He told the French Rugby Federation website: “Posolo is one of the players who brought a lot of energy at the end of the match in Scotland, which he had already done when he came on against Ireland.

“Today we decided that he should start the game against Italy. It was his performances during training with us, and at each of his appearances, that ensured that he won this starter jersey.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

Luke Baker25 February 2024 12:05

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Steve Borthwick describes England’s defeat to Scotland as ‘real painful lesson’

Frustrated Steve Borthwick felt his work-in-progress England team were taught “a real painful lesson” by a Duhan Van Der Merwe-inspired Scotland after the Red Rose crashed to a fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup defeat at Murrayfield.

The visitors arrived in Edinburgh hoping to make it three Six Nations victories in a row and they made a bright start in which a George Furbank try helped them carve a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter of an hour. However, they lost their way and were put to the sword by their clinical hosts who ran out 30-21 winners.

Van Der Merwe – who scored a double in the Scots’ win at Twickenham last year – was again England’s tormentor-in-chief as he became the first man in a dark blue jersey to score a Calcutta Cup hat-trick.

“After a defeat and performance when you don’t think you’ve maximised your potential, it’s always disappointment,” said head coach Borthwick. “I don’t think the team maximised their potential today.

“When you make that number of handling errors at this level, it’s very difficult to win, especially against a team of Scotland’s quality. Ultimately we made it too easy for Scotland to score, but they were very clinical. It’s a huge lesson for our team as we develop. The number of turnovers made it very difficult to win.”

Duhan van der Merwe ran England ragged

(Getty Images)

Luke Baker25 February 2024 11:25



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