Several Les Bleus players have used their hand as an eyepatch to celebrate tries

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France “pirate” celebration at Rugby World Cup explained

Since the start of the Rugby World Cup, followers of France have been asking just why so many of the players have been using a certain celebration when they have scored a try. Look back at Baptiste Serin’s bonus point-securing score against the United States.

He pops up from the ground, using the back of his hand to cover one eye. What does it mean?

France "pirate" celebration at Rugby World Cup explained

Big score: Baptiste Serin against the Eagles (Getty Images)

Well, according to some of the France squad, it is in honour of a band of “pirates” within the squad, led by the buccaneer Louis Picamoles.

“It’s a funny thing between us,” Sofiane Guitoune told the press of the group led by the No 8 they call ‘Loulou’. “It’s just a small group of players, a mix of old and young, who do not take themselves too seriously.”

Loosehead prop Cyril Baille added: “It’s not a cult or anything. We are ten real pirates. Loulou is the boss and we are at his service. It was he who took this sign and as soon as he does something we listen, we did the same. “

Of course not everyone gets to be a pirate, it seems.

“I have not been inducted yet,” regular captain and hooker Guilhem Guirado told the press pack. “I am with them (the pirates, in spirit) but I am discreet and I can not yet honour the flag of pirates. And besides I do not score any tests … “

France "pirate" celebration at Rugby World Cup explained

Man overboard: Pirate Peato Mauvaka before being sent home (Getty Images)

After a short turnaround the French will play Tonga next. We all remember the famous clash between those teams at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Related: France v Tonga in the 2019 Rugby world Cup

Could any of the swashbuckling pirates get a chance to celebrate against the Pacific Islanders?

Keep track of goings-on in Japan via our Rugby World Cup home page.

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