rugby

France edge past Italy in Six Nations opener

Guy Novès won his first game as head coach of France's rugby union team.
Guy Novès won his first game as head coach of France's rugby union team. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

France launched their 2016 European Six Nations challenge with a narrow victory over Italy at the Stade de France. It finished 23-21 to the hosts who were playing their first competitive match under new head coach Guy Novès

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Debutant Virimi Vakatawa scored a try as well Damien Chouly but a Carlo Canna drop-goal and Sergio Parisse's try kept Italy in touch.

Canna finished off a burst by Parisse to put the visitors in the lead.

France retook the initiative with Hugo Bonneval's try. But they still needed a late penalty from Jules Plisson to secure the win.

Former Toulon boss Noves, 62, has promised to build a more entertaining French side from the one that was annihilated 62-13 by New Zealand in the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup and finished fourth in the 2015 Six Nations.

 

 

 

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