France vs Australia LIVE: Result and reaction after Wallabies thrashed in Paris

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

France concluded their preparations for their home Rugby World Cup in fine fashion with a convincing 41-17 win over Australia.

At a buoyant Stade de France, the hosts showed off their attacking range to accelerate away in the second half.

The Wallabies impressed in the first half with their own varied play with ball in hand, but failed to make a series of opportunities inside the French 22 count and fell to a fifth successive defeat since Eddie Jones was installed as head coach.

And with Antoine Dupont, Matthieu Jalibert and Thomas Ramos expertly pulling the strings, France’s backs repeatedly cut a fatiguing visiting side to ribbons to sign off in style ahead of the tournament.

Fabien Galthie’s side open the World Cup with a mouthwatering clash with New Zealand in Paris on Friday 8 September.

Australia begin their tournament back at the Stade de France a day later, with the Wallabies taking on Georgia.

Follow live updates from France vs Australia below:

France vs Australia - LIVE


  • TRY! France 38-17 AUSTRALIA (Suliasi Vunivalu try, 78 minutes)

  • TRY! FRANCE 31-12 Australia (Gabin Villiere try, 64 minutes)

  • TRY! France 26-12 AUSTRALIA (Fraser McReight try, 61 minutes)

  • TRY! FRANCE 26-5 Australia (Damian Penaud try, 57 minutes)

  • YELLOW CARD! Suliasi Vunivalu is sent to the sin bin! France 16-5 Australia, 53 minutes


  • TRY! France 7-5 AUSTRALIA (Mark Nawaqanitawase try, 13 minutes)

  • TRY! FRANCE 7-0 Australia (Jonathan Danty try, 7 minutes)


FT: France 41-17 Australia

18:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

So that’s that, then - the month of warm-ups is over and the next on-pitch action will be the World Cup proper.

And what an opener it is, too: France against New Zealand, with the Stade de France sure to be jumping under the Friday night lights.

Rugby World Cup 2023 schedule, fixtures, dates and kick-off times

And Wallabies skipper Will Skelton speaks to Amazon after Australia’s defeat

18:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Very disappointed. In the first half, we went after them, but they are a world classs team, and we gave them opportunities and didn’t execute.

“We’ve got some big ball carriers, we’ve got a powerful pack. We showed it in patches. We’ve got to take the lessons, we’ve got to improve. It wasn’t good enough tonight but we’ve got two weeks to get ready for Georgia. I’m proud to lead this team - they are a hungry, ambitious, tough group.”

Paul Willemse reacts to France’s win

18:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Really happy with the result tonight. I think it was a great performance from us. There are still a few things to improve, but overall we are really pleased.

“It’s done now, all of the preparations are done. The next game is the opener - we are going to take a few days off and then prepare for that. The atmosphere today was amazing and I think it is going to be 10x that.”

FT: France 41-17 Australia

18:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That is, though, five defeats from five for the Wallabies under their head coach. Australia begin their World Cup at the Stade de France against Georgia in 13 days - there were definitely steps forward for Eddie Jones’s side today in terms of attacking variety, but that lack of recent winning experience could well be a problem in what is shaping as a very competitive pool.

Pleasingly, though, I don’t think there were any injuries for either side, or anything that the citing commissioner is likely to pick out.

FT: France 41-17 Australia

18:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A bit of a thrashing, in the end, with France showing off their attacking range in a free-flowing second half to accelerate away from Australia. The Wallabies were probably better than the final margin suggests, but a lack of red zone efficiency meant they never had a hope against a higher quality side.


18:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

PENALTY! FRANCE 41-17 Australia, 80 minutes

18:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The clock ticks past 80 minutes as France are awarded a penalty inside their own half, with Australia marched ten metres further back for a bit of chat. That takes it within Melvyn Jaminet’s range...

And the replacement full back thunders the penalty over from bang on halfway, with plenty of leg to spare.

TRY! France 38-17 AUSTRALIA (Suliasi Vunivalu try, 78 minutes)

18:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A first test try for Suliasi Vunivalu!

Vunivalu is onside as Issak Fines-Leleiwasa floats up a box kick, and his nudge on Jaminet is cleared quickly, too. Subsequent replays suggest it was shoulder-to-back rather than shoulder-to-shoulder, but referee Luke Pearce and TMO Tom Foley were perfectly happy with Vunivalu’s actions. The try is good.

Try? France 38-12 Australia, 77 minutes

18:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A high kick ends up in Suliasi Vunivalu’s hands - was the wing onside? And was his nudge on Melvyn Jaminet legal?

TRY! FRANCE 38-12 Australia (Damian Penaud try, 75 minutes)

18:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Simply sublime!

Australia turn over possession on halfway and there is acres and acres of space for their fatiguing forwards to try to cover on the French right. Damian Penaud holds his width, waiting to take Gael Fickou’s pass and burning past the Wallabies wading through treacle.

Penaud assesses his options as he approaches the last defender, slowing slightly to ensure his chip is precise. Penaud collects cleanly, barely breaking stride, to score his second.

France 31-12 Australia, 72 minutes

18:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two debuts for Australia, with some weary bodies trudging off: Blake Schoupp (pronounced “shop”) steps in for Angus Bell, and Tate McDermott is replaced by Issak Fines-Leleiwasa at scrum half.

Will Skelton departs as well; Matt Philip on in the row.

France 31-12 Australia, 71 minutes

18:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France hack a bobbling ball ahead up the left, with Charles Ollivon striding after it. The flanker is such a smooth mover and might have been able to gallop over the final fences had he gathered cleanly - but hard collecting hands knock the ball on.

France 31-12 Australia, 69 minutes

18:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia bring on replacement tighthead Zane Nonggor, hooker Matt Faessler and back row Langi Gleeson, while France introduce Melvyn Jaminet for Thomas Ramos, who has had another excellent day.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

France 31-12 Australia, 67 minutes

18:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Funky! A devilish bit of skill from Thomas Ramos, stepping back to fake a pass and then flicking a quirky kick over the Australian blitz defence. Matthieu Jalibert is favourite to take it but gets a nasty bounce, and can’t fully gather before an Australian arm knocks the ball from his grasp.

France 31-12 Australia, 66 minutes

18:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A worry for both teams as Andrew Kellaway and Gael Fickou receive a bit of treatment afer France’s latest attempt to go from coast-to-coast. Both, thankfully with the World Cup so close, are back on their feet and back into the action.

TRY! FRANCE 31-12 Australia (Gabin Villiere try, 64 minutes)

18:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

More brilliant attacking rugby!

Australia are restored to 14 with Suliasi Vunivalu returning from the sin bin, but France still have too many attacking tools at their disposal for the Wallabies to cope with. Jonathan Danty, as he has done all day, wins the initial collision to concertina the Australian defence, leaving space for Matthieu Jalibert to stab a pitching wedge out to Gabin Villiere on the left wing.

Villiere uses the damp Stade de France turf wisely, sliding into the corner as two tacklers try to force him out. A clear, clean grounding - France have their third try.

TRY! France 26-12 AUSTRALIA (Fraser McReight try, 61 minutes)

18:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia aren’t finished just yet!

Really, really smart play from Tate McDermott. The scrum half keeps things tight with his side down a man, utilising Angus Bell, Dave Porecki and Will Skelton to punch away up the left. When the ball is slow, he switches tack, sending Mark Nawaqanitawase off after a swirling box kick.

Nawaqanitawase out-leaps Thomas Ramos, and though he doesn’t gather cleanly, the loose ball bounces his way. Fraser McReight arrives and finds the blue defensive line parted in front of him - the flanker slides under the posts

France 26-5 Australia, 60 minutes

18:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Antoine Dupont gets a great ovation as Fabien Galthie bubble wraps his scrum half star. Baptiste Couilloud steps in for the France captain.

TRY! FRANCE 26-5 Australia (Damian Penaud try, 57 minutes)

18:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A fabulous French score!

Consider the switch most certainly flicked. Gregory Alldritt and Jonathan Danty lay the groundwork, both men broad of shoulder and winning the gainline to allow the architects to sketch. Antoine Dupont and Matthieu Jalibert oblige, the fly half hitting an expert angle and offloading to Gael Fickou.

Fickou is halted a couple of metres short but Australia’s 14 men are all over the place. Dupont decides the simplest route of transfer to Damian Penaud is a kick, which is, of course, perfectly judged. Penaud gathers and grounds, with Thomas Ramos’s conversion from wide on the right further increasing the hosts’ advantage.

France 19-5 Australia, 56 minutes

18:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France are all over Australia now. Antoine Dupont produces a glorious cross kick inside his own 22 to allow Gabin Villiere to make easy metres up the left.

PENALTY! FRANCE 19-5 Australia (Thomas Ramos penalty, 54 minutes)

18:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Thomas Ramos pops through the penalty.

YELLOW CARD! Suliasi Vunivalu is sent to the sin bin! France 16-5 Australia, 53 minutes

18:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France win a penalty 35 metres out from their own line. Antoine Dupont is always alive to the possibilities and taps and goes, with Australia’s forwards all within ten metres and thus unable to grasp him before he’s accelerated out of sight. Matthieu Jalibert arrives in support and shows off his own speed.

Australia scramble back but Suliasi Vunivalu goes off his feet at a ruck. Luke Pearce goes to his pocket for what he deems a cynical offence - Vunivalu looks perplexed but had that ball come out, there were French overlaps on both sides.

France 16-5 Australia, 52 minutes

18:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pinched at the front! Cameron Woki is such a good defensive lineout jumper, the replacement lock up in front of Tom Hooper to pilfer Dave Porecki’s throw. Antoine Dupont hooks a superb clearance away off his weaker left boot.

France 16-5 Australia, 50 minutes

18:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is a good period from Australia. Tate McDermott is keeping the tempo high and the visiting forwards are asking complex questions with sharp handling at the line. Another penalty and another return to the French red area.

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(Getty Images)

France 16-5 Australia, 48 minutes

18:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A raft of forward changes from France, bringing on five of their six pack substitutes with only Paul Boudehent left unused. The cavalry do their job, both Taofifenua brothers right in the thick of things as the Wallabies fail to make ground around the fringes.

Carter Gordon cross-kicks, hoping to utilise Suliasi Vunivalu’s aerial strength. The ex-rugby leaguer rises superbly but Gordon’s kick was floaty and shallow, and France drive the wing towards the touchline.

France 16-5 Australia, 47 minutes

17:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France play ambitiously from their own in-goal, first Gabin Villiere and then Damian Penaud just about managing to extricate themselves. Penaud’s offload is a proper hospital pass, though, Thomas Ramos taking the ball and a clattering from Taniela Tupou.

In pour Tupou’s teammates to capitalise on the tighthead’s crunching hit. Australia soon win a penalty and prod into the left corner.

France 16-5 Australia, 45 minutes

17:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France quell Australia’s maul but the Wallabies play energetically, making metres on a leftward arc. Will Skelton carries three defenders with him, but the strength of his charge takes him away from his support, allowing Julien Marchand to feast on breakdown ball.

France 16-5 Australia, 44 minutes

17:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Gael Fickou forces an offload, finding neither Thibaud Flament nor Thomas Ramos, who knocks on attempting to salvage the situation. Flament plays the ball in front of his full back - penalty to Australia.

Missed penalty! France 16-5 Australia, 43 minutes

17:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Well well well. Thomas Ramos shakes his head as he misses, by his standard, a sitter. A flick of the outside of the post and away.

France 16-5 Australia, 42 minutes

17:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The French forwards come firing out the blocks, with Antoine Dupont picking his runners. A wider pass lands in the hands of Gael Fickou, who is caught high by opposite number Lalakai Foketi.

Antoine Dupont points at the posts and Thomas Ramos will look to make it five from five from the tee.

France 16-5 Australia, 41 minutes

17:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s a lovely restart, too, allowing Damian Penaud to corral Mark Nawaqanitawase five metres from the Australian line. Andrew Kellaway’s clearance sails out only 30 metres up the left touchline.

Second half!

17:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Matthieu Jalibert’s right boot restarts affairs.

HT: France 16-5 Australia

17:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England have also confirmed their final 33 in the last hour or so, with Jonny May replacing Anthony Watson after the wing’s injury, as was expected after the Gloucester wing made a try-scoring return to international action yesterday.

Back to Paris, with the second half not far away.

Cian Healy left out of Ireland’s 33-man Rugby World Cup squad due to injury

17:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Veteran prop Cian Healy has been left out of Ireland’s 33-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in France due to injury.

The 35-year-old suffered a calf problem in Saturday evening’s 17-13 warm-up win over Samoa.

He was helped from the field by medical staff in the first half at Stade Jean Dauger in Bayonne before being pictured on crutches.

Ireland squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup:

Forwards: Ryan Baird (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Rob Herring (Ulster), Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Jeremy Loughman (Munster), Joe McCarthy (Leinster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Tom O’Toole (Ulster), Andrew Porter, (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster).

Backs: Bundee Aki (Connacht), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Craig Casey (Munster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Keith Earls (Munster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Mack Hansen (Connacht), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Hugo Keenan (Leinster), James Lowe (Leinster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), Conor Murray (Munster), Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster, captain).

Cian Healy left out of Ireland’s 33-man Rugby World Cup squad due to injury

HT: France 16-5 Australia

17:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A relatively even contest at the Stade de France, with Thomas Ramos’s accuracy from the tee the difference so far with Carter Gordon thrice missing shots at goal for Australia. Both sides have threatened in attack, with the Wallabies creating plenty of opportunities and France ever dangerous in possession - you fancy this might just open up a little bit later, but both defences have scrambled smartly to limit it to just a single try apiece.


17:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

France 16-5 Australia, 45 minutes

17:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Carter Gordon doesn’t fancy another chance to find his range - he turns down a kickable three and instead pokes up the right touchline. Australia’s lineout is 20 metres out, and the maul earns them five more yards.

Luke Pearce demands they use it when the drive runs out of momentum, but inaccurate handling in the wide channels will send everyone down the tunnel.

France 16-5 Australia, 44 minutes

17:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Onwards we go with the clock ticking past 43 minutes, Australia’s lineout not straight and France forced to take the scrum.

Can Australia attack and earn a penalty against the head? Angus Bell rocks Uini Atonio back on the engage...and the penalty is Australia’s!

France 16-5 Australia, 41 minutes

17:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Much more like it from the Australian forwards, the equal of the French eight as they try and bash their way through from ten metres out. Antoine Dupont goes it alone in an attempt to regather momentum but Suliasi Vunivalu snares him by the shirt fabric, and an isolated Dupont’s only support is Jean-Baptiste Gros, who arrives from the side. Penalty to the visitors.

France 16-5 Australia, 40 minutes

17:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France’s forwards show their strength with a lineout drive starting to motor. An Australian plays a pothole, puncturing the tyres of the maul illegally - France enter Australia’s 22 with the clock in the red.

France 16-5 Australia, 39 minutes

17:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Held up! Outstanding last-ditch defence from France!

A clever kick forces Gabin Villiere to make a hasty retreat, and as he tries to release and get back to his feet after Andrew Kellaway thumps into him, Jordan Petaia is there to collect. Villiere does very well to prevent Petaia scoring himself but as Fraser McReight arrives to pick and go, a score feels a certainty.

But the wing and Julien Marchand have other ideas, holding McReight up and wheedling their way underneath him, ensuring that their chests are between ball and floor as the openside drives over the line.

Not that it would have counted - Kellaway’s tackle on a dipping Villiere was high. Just a penalty.

France 16-5 Australia, 38 minutes

17:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Suliasi Vunivalu has impressed so far, covering the backfield shrewdly to prevent Damian Penaud collecting a chip and then almost escaping the French wing’s clutches.

PENALTY! FRANCE 16-5 Australia (Thomas Ramos penalty, 37 minutes)

17:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Thomas Ramos shows Carter Gordon how it’s done. Crisp and clean from 40 metres on the angle from the left.

France 13-5 Australia, 35 minutes

17:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tate McDermott changes direction to block Matthieu Jalibert with the French fly half haring off in pursuit of his own up-and-under. On comes the tee.

Missed penalty! France 13-5 Australia, 34 minutes

17:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three misses from three from Carter Gordon - this is probably his simplest so far, not too much right of centre and distance not an issue, but Gordon’s effort starts right and stays right.

France 13-5 Australia, 33 minutes

17:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And the Wallabies giants go to work, Taniela Tupou and Will Skelton putting their considerable combined weight into Jean-Baptiste Gros to win a scrum penalty.

France 13-5 Australia, 32 minutes

17:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Andrew Kellaway shows his counter-attacking skill, skipping by two French defenders with Damian Penaud over-pursuing to open up an inside lane. Richie Arnold tries to tip on for Rob Valetini at the line but a tackling French hand knocks the pass slightly off course, and Valetini has to stall. Australia soon fumble themselves, but it’ll be their scrum to feed.

France 13-5 Australia, 30 minutes

17:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Better defence from Australia, halting France’s runners and picking the right time to attack a ruck, forcing Charles Ollivon to seal off.

But that’s a little bit loose - Dave Porecki hits his jumper and sweeps to the back of the maul, but never gets the ball in his mitts, with an inaccurate transfer from forward to forward resulting in a spill. Knock on, France’s scrum.

France 13-5 Australia, 29 minutes

17:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Straight from the restart, Australia are penalised again: Mark Nawaqanitawas runs beneath a hoisted Gregory Alldritt, contacting the number eight in the air.

PENALTY! FRANCE 13-5 Australia (Thomas Ramos penalty, 28 minutes)

17:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

....which allows Thomas Ramos to collect three more.

France 10-5 Australia, 27 minutes

17:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia’s discipline is starting to slip - they are penalised bang in front on the fringes of their own 22...

France 10-5 Australia, 26 minutes

17:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A cry to the heavens from Taniela Tupou, seemingly perfectly poised to snare breakdown ball but getting his technique wrong. The tighthead knows he should have done better.

Here’s Jonathan Danty’s opening score.

PENALTY! FRANCE 10-5 Australia (Thomas Ramos penalty, 25 minutes)

17:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Thomas Ramos’s kick is stabbed up into the breeze, with the full back’s judgement perfect. Posts bisected, three more points to France.

France 7-5 Australia, 24 minutes

17:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia clear up towards halfway, from where France go to work. Antoine Dupont drags defenders out of the line with a half-snipe, creating a hole large enough even for the colossal Uini Atonio to hurry through.

Atonio offloads to no one in particular, but Gregory Alldritt sweeps up, and shows impressive leg drive to make metres through contact. Australia are pinged at the resultant breakdown.

France 7-5 Australia, 22 minutes

17:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s a cracker of a game, this. France play to width and utilise Villiere, who somehow manages to get a kick away while wrapped up in Rob Valetini’s constricting limbs. Gael Fickou looks the favourite to get to it but a leftward hop takes it into touch 10 metres from the Australia line.

France 7-5 Australia, 20 minutes

17:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This has been a very good first 20 minutes from Australia’s attack, drilled today by Jason Ryles for the first time after Brad Davis’s sudden departure. Again, France are short of blindside numbers, with prop Angus Bell, busy so far, riding a tackle and releasing a deft offload. Suliasi Vunivalu and Gabin Villiere joust again, with the France wing managing to lance his man. An errant chip from Carter Gordon ends Australia’s attack with Thomas Ramos collecting on the slide.

France 7-5 Australia, 18 minutes

17:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another lineout misfire from Marchand, and Australia tap and go. A lovely switch of direction from Carter Gordon catches France under-manned on the blindside, with Suliasi Vunivalu put into space.

Vunivalu very nearly bests Gabin Villiere with a fend, but Villiere manages to clutch at a leg. Tate McDermott is there in support but a hurried offload ends up bobbling into touch.

France 7-5 Australia, 17 minutes

17:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The noise inside the Stade de France is such that Julien Marchand can’t hear the lineout call! The hooker holds a finger to his ear after being free kicked for a double pump as he tries to throw, gesturing to his forward colleagues that the message never quite got through.

France 7-5 Australia, 14 minutes

17:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An Australia knock on gives France a chance to play from a scrum inside the Wallabies’ 22.

Antoine Dupont obliges, combining with Gregory Alldritt as the number eight holds his feet in contact and offloads. Gabin Villiere has a sliver of space on the left, which is normally enough for the slippery wing, but Australia’s scramble defence just about forces him out.

TRY! France 7-5 AUSTRALIA (Mark Nawaqanitawase try, 13 minutes)

17:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But Australia won’t need it!

With that penalty in their pocket, the vistors spread their wings, France’s defence condensing and closing to try and shut down the distributors. But Carter Gordon is withdrawn enough to get his wide pass away, and with Damian Penaud much too narrow there’s acres of space for Mark Nawaqanitawase on Australia’s left wing.

Nawaqanitawase has got plenty of toe and wins the race to the corner. Eddie Jones claps his hands approvingly.

Gordon can’t quite find the mark with his touchline conversion.

France 7-0 Australia, 12 minutes

17:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France stall Australia’s maul but are penalised again soon after. The Wallabies will have another go, with Dave Porecki hitting Tom Hooper at the front.

Advantage coming....

France 7-0 Australia, 10 minutes

16:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A sharp spot from Luke Pearce - Damian Penaud follows the ring road and then picks his exit, darting up field and into space. But the space was opened by a shoulder in the back of a would-be tackler by Jonathan Danty - the centre’s push isn’t nearly subtle enough to deceive referee Pearce, who rightly pings him to pull Penaud back.

Australia kick to the corner, hoping for a swift reply to that early French score.

France 7-0 Australia, 9 minutes

16:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Antoine Dupont’s attempted clearance is charged down, the France skipper fortunate that the ricochet skids into touch and not towards a green and gold shirt. Australia are free kicked at the lineout which allows the hosts an easy clearance up beyond halfway.

TRY! FRANCE 7-0 Australia (Jonathan Danty try, 7 minutes)

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right through the front door!

Excellent from France, their strike play perfect in conception and execution. The forwards pile in to feign the maul but the lineout catcher Thibaud Flament tosses to Antoine Dupont, already in motion and threatening around the fringes.

Jonathan Danty is there on his shoulder to take the scrum half’s pop and biff back Carter Gordon, the hulking centre strong enough to ride Mark Nawaqintawase’s challenge, too. Danty grounds, Thomas Ramos knocks over the extra two points, and France are up and away.

France 0-0 Australia, 6 minutes

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France cut Australia open with their first attacking possession, Jonathan Danty winning the gainline and setting a platfrom from which his back mates can launch into something more extravagant. Damian Penaud accelerates up the touchline and Gabin Villiere is caught high as he tries to take Penaud’s infield toss.

TMO Tom Foley confirms Taniela Tupou’s challenge merits nothing more than a penalty; France opt to probe the right corner.

France 0-0 Australia, 5 minutes

16:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But that’s a vital intervention from Julien Marchand. Australia bring their heavy carriers around the corner but find the blue bricks in place, and the French hooker latches over the top to draw a penalty, with Rob Valetini also flying in off his feet to try and clear Marchand out.

France 0-0 Australia, 4 minutes

16:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bright from Australia! Excellent continuity as they work to the left, Mark Nawaqinitawase making progress on the touchline tightrope and flicking an offload neatly for Rob Valetini to lumber it on further. Australia into France’s 22.

Missed penalty! France 0-0 Australia, 3 minutes

16:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It isn’t the most pleasant evening, with a bit of wet stuff tumbling down and the breeze gusting. Carter Gordon’s effort from the tee looks pretty initially but is blown off course.

France 0-0 Australia, 1 minute

16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A lovely, hanging restart from Gordon, but France gather at the second attempt, Charles Ollivon up like a rebounding basketball player to collect.

Into a kicking exchange, with Thomas Ramos thumping long and Gordon replying in kind. Suliasi Vunivalu and Mark Nawaqintawase test their right boots, too - and a French chaser is ruled offside. Penalty to Australia, and Gordon looks towards the posts.


16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s been a long old August of preparation but here we are, one final Rugby World Cup warm-up. Carter Gordon will get things underway with a bit of rain falling at the Stade de France.

Luke Pearce blows his whistle - off we go!


16:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A pleasant enough rendition of “Advance Australia Fair”, though it does rather pale in comparison to the full-throated roar of 80,000 or so, “La Marseillaise“ delivered typically emphatically.

France vs Australia: Match officials

16:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Referee: Luke Pearce (ENG)

ARs: Christophe Ridley (ENG) & Craig Evans (WAL)

TMO: Tom Foley (ENG)

France vs Australia

16:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Out the players come to cries of “Allez Les Bleus”, the two sides pushing out through smoke cast in red, white and blue.

France vs Australia

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But kick off is very much near in Paris, with barely an empty seat in sight inside the Stade de France.

France vs Australia

16:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Just a bit of news from elsewhere before kick off - Cian Healy has been left out of Ireland’s 33-man World Cup squad after suffering that injury against Samoa yesterday. We’ll have full details on Andy Farrell’s selection a little later.

France vs Australia

16:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France’s enviable depth at ten means the loss of Romain Ntamack is less catastrophic than it would be for other nations, but Matthieu Jalibert is a different player to his former age-group colleague, perhaps with slightly more ability and aggression with ball in hand but occasionally accused of lacking in big game control. That is probably unfair - Jalibert’s game has really rounded out over the last couple of years - but it’ll be fascinating to see how he beds in to this first choice French side. The playmaking axis of Toulouse teammates Antoine Dupont, Ntamack and Thomas Ramos is so well honed; in theory, we should see little drop-off with such a high-class deputy ready to step in but the Bordeaux-Begles pivot will want to impress today.

France vs Australia

16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s fair to say that Suliasi Vunivalu wouldn’t have made the World Cup squads of most Wallabies watches, the NRL convert not having quite adjusted in the way that Rugby Australia would have hoped after crossing codes. But Eddie Jones seems to like the wing, keeping him in his 33 and giving him a starting shirt today in Marika Koroibete’s absence.

Vunivalu has had problems positionally, which France are sure to try and attack - the hosts have an excellent tactical kicking game, and this is a relatively untested Australian back three combination.

France vs Australia

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And here’s the full tournament itinerary, which might be worth sticking in your bookmarks for the next couple of months:

Rugby World Cup 2023 schedule, fixtures, dates and kick-off times

A World Cup dress rehearsal

16:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Both of these two sides are back here on the opening weekend of the World Cup, with Australia’s opening pool game against Georgia on Saturday 9 September following the Friday night France-New Zealand curtain-raiser at the Stade de France. For the Wallabies, a chance to acquaint themselves with the Paris arena is rather handy, particularly with today’s referee Luke Pearce also in charge in 13 days.

“It is the perfect opportunity for us to test ourselves against another quality opposition in France," Tate McDermott said yesterday.

"It could not have worked out any better, we have the same referee, the same field, everything from logistics to what the stadium will sound like is going to be important (to experience ahead of the Georgia game).

“There will be times in the game when we will be under the pump against a very strong French pack, so it is about dealing with the momentum shift. That will be crucial come World Cup time. The physicality aspect is going to be massive."

France vs Australia

16:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cyril Baille’s calf injury is a real concern for France, the loosehead having been such a key cog in their development over the last few years. The prop wasn’t, perhaps, at his best for Toulouse last season but I thought he had a very solid Six Nations, and his ability as an offloader and distributor is so valuable.

Baille should be back fit at some point during the World Cup but, for now, it’ll be Jean-Baptiste Gros on the left side of the French front row. The 24-year-old was part of the great French age-group side that went back-to-back as U20 world champions in 2018 and 2019, combining with Demba Bamba to produce a series of scrum demolition jobs on their way to that first triumph before quickly moving up into the senior set-up.

Gros’s progress since hasn’t been entirely smooth, with a couple of injuries stalling him somewhat, but the Toulon prop has been impressive so far this summer. How he handles Taniela Tupou at scrum time will be worth watching - there’s plenty of mass coming through the tighthead side for the Wallabies with Will Skelton behind the prop, and I think they’ll try to put Gros, who can be streaky at scrum time, under strain.

Can Australia find some World Cup hope?

16:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That Fiji performance at Twickenham yesterday would have put their Pool C foes on notice, Simon Raiwalui’s side deserved winners even with a couple of key men absent to show they are genuine quarter final contenders. Australia face the Pacific Islanders on the second weekend of the tournament in Saint-Etienne after opening up against Georgia in Paris.

It’s been a tough start to Eddie Jones’s second stint in charge of the Wallabies, who arrived in France last week having lost four from four under their head coach. While a young-skewing squad won’t carry with it too much in the way of psychological baggage, they’ll need a good showing tonight, you’d think, to enter the World Cup with any kind of optimism.

I like the look of this well balanced Australian pack, though, with Taniela Tupou’s return from a rib issue welcome, and Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight and Rob Valetini’s skills complementary across the back row. Jones has the makings of a side that can play his preferred power game, particularly when Samu Kerevi returns at 12, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Wallabies’ gameplan has developed since that tight defeat in the second Bledisloe Cup test.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Team News – Australia

15:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s a strong Australia side, with Will Skelton skippering the side for the first time after being confirmed as Eddie Jones’s World Cup captain. Taniela Tupou is fit to return at tighthead in a pack that almost certainly closely resembles the one Jones intends to use when the tournament begins.

Behind the scrum, neither Samu Kerevi nor Marika Koroibete is included, with Suliasi Vunivalu getting an opportunity to stake a claim on the wing and Lalakai Foketi partnering Jordan Petaia in the centres. Two debutants lurk on the bench in the form of looshead Blake Schoupp and scrum half Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, with Jones matching France with a six/two split.

Australia XV: Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Taniela Tupou; Richie Arnold, Will Skelton (capt.); Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini; Tate McDermott, Carter Gordon; Suliasi Vunivalu, Lalakai Foketi, Jordan Petaia, Mark Nawaqanitawase; Andrew Kellaway.

Replacements: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Zane Nonggorr, Matt Philip, Rob Leota, Langi Gleeson; Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Ben Donaldson.

Team News - France

15:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France are at close to full strength for their final warm-up fixture, with Fabien Galthie keen for his side to sharpen up before the tournament. With Cyril Baille set to miss a few more weeks yet with his calf issue, Jean-Baptiste Gros will fulfil the loosehead brief, while Francois Cros continues in the back row with Anthony Jelonch moving closer to fitness after tearing his ACL in the spring.

Matthieu Jalibert, Galthie’s presumed fly half starter after Romain Ntamack’s injury, slots in at ten, while there’s a six/two split on the bench. The six forwards include the two Taofifenua brothers, with squad member and lock Romain joined by loosehead Sebastien, who did not make the World Cup cut but is required with Baille injured and Reda Wardi rested.

France XV: Jean-Baptiste Gros, Julien Marchand, Uini Atonio; Thibaud Flament, Paul Willemse; Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon, Gregory Alldritt; Antoine Dupont (capt.), Matthieu Jalibert; Gabin Villiere, Jonathan Danty, Gael Fickou, Damian Penaud; Thomas Ramos.

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Sebastien Taofifenua, Dorian Aldegheri, Romain Taofifenua, Cameron Woki, Paul Boudehent; Baptiste Couilloud, Melvyn Jaminet.

France vs Australia

15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s been plenty for Eddie Jones to contend with since re-taking the Wallabies wheel, the head coach battling issues on and off the pitch. Australia flew into France last week reeling from the sudden exit of assistant coach Brad Davis, with Jason Ryles, briefly an England lieutenant under Jones, brought in at short notice to oversee their attack at the World Cup.

France vs Australia

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But on to today’s proceedings, with kick off not much more than an hour away. The Stade de France is set to be pretty much full to the rafters with the Paris public very much behind their home favourites are ready to send them off into the tournament in style.

France vs Australia

15:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Pool B is brewing rather wonderfully, with Scotland overcoming a slow start to put Georgia to the sword, and South Africa simply untouchable at Twickenham on Friday night.

South Africa lay down marker ahead of World Cup defence by thrashing New Zealand

France vs Australia

15:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

From southwest London to southwest France, where Ireland were given a real fright by an impressive Samoa. Andy Farrell is due to confirm his World Cup squad this afternoon - but will Cian Healy be fit enough to make the 33 after suffering an injury in Bayonne?

Cian Healy injury blights narrow Ireland win over Samoa in World Cup warm-up

France vs Australia

15:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji, remember, are in Pool C with Australia, Wales, Georgia and Portugal - and on that evidence, who would bet against Simon Rawailui’s team making at least a quarter final?

England, meanwhile, have problems aplenty, as George Ford admitted last night

Ford urges England to confront issues to avert Rugby World Cup disaster

France vs Australia

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And let’s start at the creaking home of English rugby, with Fiji more than meriting a little more shine after an outstanding performance to plunge Steve Borthwick’s side further into the mire.

England slump to defeat against Fiji as dismal Rugby World Cup build-up continues

France vs Australia

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It is now just 12 days until France and New Zealand get things started in Paris on what should be a thrilling opening night, but there’s one final pre-tournament aperitif for the Stade de France to enjoy. Australia are in town hoping to end their drought under Eddie Jones and shake things up ahead of the World Cup - and you fancy Jones and his staff would have been interested observers of events at Twickenham yesterday...

How to watch France vs Australia: TV channel, online stream and start time

13:40 , Karl Matchett

France face their final pre-Rugby World Cup test with Eddie Jones’s Australia in Paris.

With just 12 days until the hosts get the tournament underway against the All Blacks, Fabien Galthie’s side look in reasonable nick despite the loss of fly half Romain Ntamack to a serious injury.

Their visitors are yet to win under Jones, who returned for a second stint in charge of the Wallabies after his sacking by England late last year.

And with problems mounting for the veteran coach, a strong performance might be necessary to give his side confidence ahead of their more important French business to come.

Here’s everything you need to know.

How to watch France vs Australia: TV channel, online stream and start time