23 Aug 2015

France edges England in RWC warm-up

10:16 am on 23 August 2015

Veteran first five Frederic Michalak gave his hopes of a World Cup starting spot a major lift with a record-breaking performance as France downed England 25-20 in their Rugby World Cup warm-up Test in Paris.

France's Frederic Michalak tackles England's Luther Burrell

France's Frederic Michalak tackles England's Luther Burrell Photo: Photosport

Michalak kicked 17 points to become France's all-time leading scorer and boost his hopes of a third World Cup appearance when coach Philippe Saint-Andre names his final squad on Monday.

France were worthy winners although they had to endure a nervy last 10 minutes when England, trailing 25-6 at the time, scored two quickfire tries.

But it was a dominant forward performance from the French, with the hosts' pack overpowering their opponents, whose pack could not get a foothold in the game.

England had won the first of these warm-ups last weekend at Twickenham with a narrow 19-14 triumph.

France made 12 changes from that match while England went for 14 changes in their starting XV, making them almost at full-strength.

England captain Chris Robshaw admitted his side had made too many errors to compete.

"In the first half we were shocking with our discipline," Robshaw said.

"We gave too many penalties away, but give us credit in the second half we came out and played well but couldn't quite get over the line in the end," the flanker added.

"We can't give teams like France and other quality sides head starts like we did.

"We'll look long and hard at ourselves. We let ourselves down in the first half. We played well in phases but you can't wait for 40 minutes to do that."

England play their opening World Cup match against Fiji at Twickenham on September 18th.

Late Pyrgos try gives Scotland victory over Italy

Scotland replacement halfback Henry Pyrgos scored a late try to seal a 16-12 victory over Italy in a dour World Cup warm-up match in Turin.

The Scots secured their first win of the year after Duncan Weir kicked three penalties, matched by one for Gonzalo Garcia and two from Tommaso Allan by the hosts, to make the score 9-9 at half-time.

Scotland's beaten Italy 16-12 in Turin

Scotland's beaten Italy 16-12 in Turin Photo: Photosport

Allan's third penalty put Italy ahead but Pyrgos went over against the run of play late on and Weir added the conversion to seal the Scottish win.

The two sides meet again at Murrayfield next weekend before Scotland coach Vern Cotter announces his 31-man squad for the World Cup.

Scotland begin their World Cup campaign against Japan in Gloucester on September 23rd.