Fabulous France get off to Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series flyer in Italy

·3-min read
Emilie Gailleton submitted an early contender for try of the tournament in Verona
Emilie Gailleton submitted an early contender for try of the tournament in Verona

By Ben Hart in Verona

France channelled their "blue spirit" with an eye-catching 42-21 victory in their Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series opener against Ireland, according to manager Jean-Marc Béderède.

Les Bleulets turned on the style against Ireland with Emilie Gailleton and Nicolas Depoortere both submitting early contenders for try of the tournament.

And Béderède says he was proud to see his team play with conviction and confidence at such an early stage of the competition.

"We call that blue spirit," said Béderède, reflecting on his side's sublime scores.

"We work on that and it's very important for us that the player makes the decision and takes initiative, wherever they play, if the situation is a good one.

"That's what they did, so it's a big pleasure for all the staff when we can see the players like this."

"We played in our project with a lot of initiative, also we were able to keep and put pressure on this very good Ireland team. It was a good match."

Victory was particularly pleasing as France had lost to Ireland by just a single point in their Six Nations fixture in Béderède earlier in the year.

A last-gasp conversion from Irish fly-half Charlie Tector broke French hearts that day, but there were no later nerves this time round, with the win wrapped up long before the final whistle.

"It is a kind of revenge," said Béderède. "But it was important for the players to do their best in this game as we know Ireland were the best team during the Six Nations, so it was a big challenge and they did it."

The day was not without frustration, however, as several players departed through injury including France's first try-scorer on the night, Léo Labarthe.Given the tight turnaround between fixtures and with France back in action on Wednesday afternoon against England, Béderède is fully prepared to name a very different looking side for round two.

"I'm also a bit disappointed with the injuries of my players," he said.

"We hoped Labarthe would be able to go on but it seems to be an important injury."

Béderède insists that training will be light over the next few days, ahead of France's crunch clash with their old rivals.

France will go into that tie doubly confident, having beaten Alan Dickens' side 26-22 in the their last meeting, the final game of the 2022 U20 Six Nations.

"First recovery because next game is very close from this and we know England, they are a tough team," said Béderède, when asked what the next few days had in store.

"There will be new players also because we have good players who didn't play.

"But for the next game it's also to do the simple things very well and if we manage to do that, I think we will be able to do something again.”

The Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series takes place from 24 June – 12 July. Fans can watch every match live. For more information visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJHm6BFw-9JRA1CMekNLwMg

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting