France coach Fabien Galthie has declared his side the ‘team to beat’ ahead of the World Cup later this year – despite Ireland sealing an impressive Grand Slam triumph.
France, who completed their own clean sweep in 2022, finished their campaign on a high with a 41-28 win over Wales in Paris yesterday to take second spot in the table behind Ireland.
Andy Farrell’s men handed France a rare defeat when they met at the Aviva Stadium last month, with the home team running out comprehensive 32-19 winners.
However, despite Ireland’s position as Six Nations champions and the number one team in the world, Galthie gave a confident verdict of where his team is at after the win over Wales.
"I hope that teams are scared of us now," Galthie told reporters after a 41-28 win against Wales in the Six Nations.
"We're certainly the team to beat.
"We do have an impressive victory ratio. We've only lost once here [in Paris], against Scotland."
Despite not winning back-to-back Six Nations titles, Galthie gave an upbeat assessment of France’s spring campaign.
"We started the Six Nations in a lacklustre way, we did as well as we could," Galthie said.
"Four victories from five in four Six Nations, we have a success rate of 80% in the Six Nations.
"So it's very positive, if we have to do a purely factual round-up of things.”
France are favourites to win a first-ever World Cup this autumn, where they will have the benefit of home advantage. They take on the All Blacks in the tournament’s opening game on Friday September 8.