Fabien Galthie felt a fearless approach and “solidarity” was the key to his young France side starting his reign with a 24-17 Six Nations win over England
New head coach Galthie put his faith in youth after replacing Jacques Brunel and was rewarded when Les Bleus beat the Rugby World Cup runners-up in his first game in charge on Sunday.
New captain Charles Ollivon scored a try in each half after Vincent Rattez’s first Test score, with Romain Ntamack booting nine points from the tee to put France 24-0 up in the rain at a raucous Stade de France.
Jonny May’s magnificent double caused a few French nerves in Paris, but England could only muster a bonus point courtesy of Owen Farrell’s penalty with the last kick of the game.
England bossed territory and possession but they were frustrated by a combination of 23 handling errors and heroic France defending, new defence coach Shaun Edwards having already clearly made his mark.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 2, 2020
Galthie said: “The players won the game, their solidarity won the game.
“When England started to come back on the scoreboard, there was an arm-wrestling contest and we won it, our defence won it.
“But we also scored three tries, which is no small feat against a team like England in these weather conditions.”
Former France captain Galthie added: “We’re in a very positive state.
“It’s a victory for all the little details put in place and worked on by the coaching staff over the last couple of months.
“Our team is very young, in terms of age and in terms of experience, but we were not scared of making mistakes, we did not think we could be wrong.”
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