Tricolores torture Italy

France began the defence of their Six Nations crown with a crushing 39-3 victory against Italy in Rome.

The Tricolores led 17-3 at the break after tries from Christophe Dominici, Cedric Heymans and Sebastien Chabal.

Chabal went over again in the second half with centre Yannick Jauzion scoring his side’s fifth try late in the game.

The victory came as a big boost to the World Cup hosts, whose confidence was badly dented by the All Blacks in November last year. While Italy are hardly World Cup contenders, the French were clinical in putting them away.

Flyhalf David Skrela – earning only his second Test cap – was France’s Man of the Match, setting up two tries and kicking 11 points to make a real claim for the 10 jersey.

France – Tries: Christophe Dominici, Cedric Heymans, Sebastien Chabal (2), Yannick Juazion. Conversions: Skrela (4). Penalties: Skrela, Beauxis.

Italy – Penalty: Pez