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French confidence boosted by victory over Italy

French confidence boosted by victory over Italy

France wanted to take some confidence from their final World Cup warm-up match and it was job done according to fly-half Romain Ntamack after the 47-19 victory over Italy.

The 20-year-old Toulouse playmaker enjoyed a fine outing, helping set up two tries while kicking five of six conversions at the Stade de France.

While Les Bleus were far from perfect, particularly during a 20-minute spell in the first half in which their discipline let them down and two men were sent to the sin-bin, they caused Italy lots of problems with ball in hand, scoring seven tries in all.

Yoann Huget was particularly effective, scoring one try and being heavily involved in another, while it was the combination between Ntamack and his winger that eventually ended with Arthur Iturria going over in the second half.

And for Ntamack, given his first start of the warm-up Tests, it was a good opportunity to show what he could do in the bid for a place in the starting XV at the World Cup.

He said: “We put in the work to get the win. We took Italy very seriously and I think you could see that on the pitch. When we put in the right ingredients, we’re capable of producing some good performances.

“We sense that as soon as we hold onto the ball and increase the tempo, we can create danger in opposition defences. We can still play a lot better but it gives us confidence before Japan.”

Les Bleus will begin their World Cup campaign with a crucial clash against Argentina on the opening Saturday, with their final group game against Guinness Six Nations rivals England.

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