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Six Nations 2024: France team profile

After crashing out in the quarter-finals of their home Rugby World Cup to South Africa, France return for a Six Nations with a twist.

For the first time in the tournament's history, Les Bleus will play away from the Stade de France as the stadium undergoes a makeover ahead of this summer's Olympics. 

However, having got the nation behind them as they toured 'l'Hexagone' during the World Cup, the fact they won games in Marseille, Lille and Lyon during the autumn hints that they will not be lacking support away from Saint-Denis. 

Away trips to Edinburgh and Cardiff could prove troublesome, but the fixture list is the right way round for a second Les Bleus Grand Slam in three years. 

That outcome is 12/5 but everything could hinge on their opening night assignment against reigning champions Ireland at Marseille's magnificent Stade Velodrome. 

Rugby Union

France: 2024 Six Nations squad


Esteban Abadie, Dorian Aldegheri, Gregory Alldritt, Uini Atonio, Cyril Baille, Gaetan Barlot, Paul Boudehent, Francois Cros, Paul Gabrillagues, Matthias Halagahu, Anthony Jelonch, Thomas Laclayat, Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Emmanuel Meafou, Charles Ollivon, Romain Taofifenu, Sebastien Taofifenua, Reda Wardi, Cameron Woki. 


Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Jonathan Danty, Nicolas Depoortere, Gael Fickou, Emilien Gailleton, Antoine Gibert, Matthieu Jalibert, Melvyn Jaminet, Nolann Le Garrec, Matthis Lebel, Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos.

France: Head coach and captain

Head coach

After taking over in 2020, Fabien Galthie is set for his second four-year World Cup cycle, with October's one-point quarter-final defeat to South Africa arguably the only blip during his time in charge. 

A slight reshuffle to the 54-year-old's backroom staff will bring fresh ideas, while vitally, one of the retained is Shaun Edwards as defence coach. 

A brilliant scrum-half in his younger days, being named World Player of the Year in 2002, Galthie has used the intelligence, skill and determination that characterised his playing career and made his country a consistent force again.


With Antoine Dupont opting out of the tournament as he targets a place in France's Sevens squad at the Olympics, number eight Gregory Alldritt will lead his country during the Six Nations. 

Abrasive on both sides of the ball, Alldritt is also a cool head and his ability to build a relationship with referees has undoubtedly helped club side La Rochelle in their Champions Cup successes in 2022 and 2023. 

Fellow back-rower Charles Ollivon, whom Dupont replaced as skipper in 2022, is perhaps unlucky not to have regained the honour but Alldritt's form in the last couple of years has made him the standout candidate.

France: Key players

Cameron Woki

There was a time when Ollivon was basically France's only line-out option and eyebrows were raised when Galthie selected Cameron Woki as a second row in 2020. 

Those doubts have since dispersed, with his natural athleticism honed during his formative years in the back-row allowing him to get around the field, while his rugby intelligence ensures he is rock solid on his own team's line-out and an absolute menace on the opposition's. 

Woki may not be the biggest, but he is still one of the most influential.

Maxime Lucu

With Dupont absent, Maxime Lucu is expected to start at scrum-half. He excelled when deputising for the skipper at the Rugby World Cup and deserves a run in the side. 

Lucu may not share Dupont's dynamism but his game management is masterful. 

While neutrals may be clambering for youngster Nolann Le Garrec to get minutes, his elder colleague is the better option, especially as he partners fly-half Matthieu Jalibert at club side Bordeaux-Begles.

Thomas Ramos

Is there currently a better player on form on the planet than Thomas Ramos? 

Toulouse colleague Romain Ntamack's knee injury has allowed the 28-year-old to run his club side from his favoured fly-half role and while he may have aspirations to do the same for Les Blues, he is more likely to be selected at full-back. 

Like Ntamack, Jalibert often prefers to play behind the line so Ramos' ability to step in and shape the attack suits. 

That talent for reading the game, combined with his almost flawless kicking both out of hand and from the tee, makes him one of the most complete back-line players on the planet.

France: 2024 Six Nations expectations

It could all change with the match in Marseille but it feels like win or bust for France as they aim to restore pride and belief after the Rugby World Cup. 

The nationwide support shown during that tournament means taking the team around the country may not be a bad thing and they will look to channel the energy emitted from the stands into their performances. 

With the fixtures falling their way, Galthie and his players will feel they can regain the title and with a bit to spare.

France: Six Nations history

France endured some disastrous results under Philippe Saint-Andre, including being awarded the Wooden Spoon in 2013 and finishing fifth under Guy Noves in 2016. 

There were signs of progress with Jacques Brunel at the helm between 2017 and 2019 but they have moved up several levels in both skill level and consistency since Galthie took charge in 2020. 

Les Bleus have finished 2nd-2nd-1st (with a Grand Slam)-2nd in his four Six Nations.

YearPositionNotable Achievements
20136thWooden Spoon
20221stWon Grand Slam

France: Form & odds

France only lost three times in 2023, going down to Ireland in Dublin to miss out on the Grand Slam, losing in Scotland with an experimental line-up in a World Cup warm-up and then damagingly to the Springboks when falling short in their bid for global glory. 

Dupont's absence is a blow but Lucu is an able deputy and the situation provides Les Bleus' other stars with a chance to take control, with Alldritt the chief decision maker and Jalibert and Ramos setting the tone on attack. 

France's home game on the opening night against Ireland will be huge. They are 8/13 to win in Marseille and a victory could set them on the path towards winning the title at 6/5.

With England also heading across The Channel, the fixture list lends itself to a French Grand Slam. 

They could also do it in style. France were the second-highest points scorers at the World Cup and the top European nation with 238 points. 

Les Bleus are 13/10 to score the most tries and 5/4 to tally the most points and they have a real chance of doing both and in doing so, restoring some pride after last year's quarter-final heartache.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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