So often the nearly women, can France punctuate an impressive five-year cycle with their first global title?

France Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

If a team is to win the Rugby World Cup for the first time this year, France are the most likely nation to do so.

Since their third-place finish in 2017, les Bleues have displayed their credentials on multiple occasions, but the 2018 Six Nations Grand Slam and the ongoing four-match winning run against New Zealand have been particularly impressive.

They boast devastating finishers like Emilie Boulard and Chloe Jacquet, while experienced duo Romane Menager and captain Gaelle Hermet lead a strong back row.

The 2022 Six Nations saw impressive performances from lock Madoussou Fall and scrum-half Laure Sansus, with the latter being named Player of the Championship.

However, Thomas Darracq’s team have been stuck in England’s shadow for the past three years. Since a memorable victory over the Red Roses in 2018, France have lost ten games in a row to their cross-Channel foes, who last lost a match (against anyone) in 2019 and are the favourites to win the World Cup.

Worse still for the French, they are in the same pool as England for the tournament. It would be quite the occasion to end their losing streak.

Even if they lose to England, they should have no trouble making the knockout stages with South Africa and Fiji their other pool opponents.

Remarkably, France have reached the women’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals in seven out of eight tournaments, but have never reached the final.

They undoubtedly have the tools to make it beyond the last four this time but, considering England’s brilliant form and New Zealand’s home advantage, France could well endure another near-miss.

France Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad 2022

Darracq selected his 32-strong squad to travel to New Zealand a couple of days after his side had suffered a shock defeat by Italy in a warm-up match.

There were some surprise omissions in wings Cyrielle Banet and Caroline Boujard and experienced lock Audrey Forlani. Joanna Grisez was a surprise inclusion too; she impressed for France at the Sevens World Cup in Cape Town, where the team won bronze, but is uncapped at 15s level.



Emilie Boulard (23 Aug 1999/Blagnac/Full-back/13)

Pauline Bourdon (4 Nov 1995/Toulouse/Scrum-half/39)

Alexandra Chambon (2 Aug 2000/Grenoble/Scrum-half/6)

Caroline Drouin (7 Jul 1996/Stade Rennais/Fly-half/26)

Maelle Filopon (27 May 1997/Toulouse/Centre/15)

Joanna Grisez (5 Oct 1996/Bobigny/Wing/Uncapped)

Chloe Jacquet (17 Apr 2002/Lyon/Centre, Full-back/10)

Melissande Llorens (18 Jun 2002/Blagnac/Wing/5)

Marine Menager (26 Jul 1996/Montpellier/Wing/31)

Lina Queyroi (18 May 2001/Blagnac/Scrum-half/2)

Laure Sansus (21 Jun 1994/Toulouse/Scrum-half/30)

Jessy Tremouliere (29 Jul 1992/Romagnat/Full-back/71)

Gabrielle Vernier (2 Jun 1997/Blagnac/Centre/26)


Julie Annery (12 Jun 1995/Stade Bordelais/Back-row/26)

Rose Bernadou (27 Mar 2000/Montpellier/Prop/8)

Yllana Brosseau (5 Sep 2000/AC Bobigny/Prop/6)

Annaelle Deshaye (16 Mar 1996/Stade Bordelais/Prop/34)

Célia Domain (29 Apr 2000/Blagnac/Prop/4)

Charlotte Escudero (26 Dec 2000/Blagnac/Back-row/1)

Madoussou Fall (17 Mar 1998/Stade Bordelais/Lock/18)

Manae Feleu (3 Feb 2000/Grenoble/Lock/3)

Celine Ferer (21 Jun 1991/Toulouse/Lock/54)

Emeline Gros (19 Aug 1995/Grenoble/Back-row/18)

Gaelle Hermet (12 Jun 1996/Toulouse/Back-row/45)

Clara Joyeux (10 Jan 1998/Blagnac/Prop/32)

Assia Khalfaoui (24 Mar 2001/Stade Bordelais/Prop/4)

Coco Lindelauf (17 Jan 2001/Blagnac/Prop/9)

Marjorie Mayans (17 Nov 1990/Blagnac/Back-row/48)

Romane Menager (26 Jul 1996/Montpellier/No 8/50)

Safi N’Diaye (16 Jul 1988/Lock/Montpellier/86)

Agathe Sochat (21 May 1995/Stade Bordelais/Hooker/37)

Laure Touye (12 May 1996/Montpellier/Hooker/22)

France Women’s Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2022

(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)

Pool C

Sat 8 Oct, South Africa v France (2.15am, Eden Park, Auckland)

Sat 15 Oct, France v England (8am, Northland Events Centre, Whangarei)

Sat 22 Oct, France v Fiji (7.15am, Northland Events Centre, Whangarei)

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