Host nation France have more than their fair share of memorable moments at Rugby World Cup. We all fondly remember Serge Blanco's mythic try against Australia in 1987, Christophe Dominici's confusing hooks which troubled favourites New Zealand in 1999, and Thierry Dusautoir's devastating tackles, which earned him the nickname 'Dark Destroyer' one night in 2007, facing those same All Blacks.
No matter the year, no matter the opponents, no matter the line-up, France have always left their mark, bringing with them a flair that has become legendary. And the beautiful story they have written is sure to continue with another chapter in 2023.
On home soil, in front of a home crowd, the men under duo Fabien Galthié and Raphaël Ibañez will be determined to break barriers and finally lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time in their history, after reaching the final three times, in 1987, 1999 and 2011.
After a few turbulent years, the “Blue Dream” is now embodied by a new generation of talented players, who all experienced the electric atmosphere of Rugby World Cup 2007 one way or another. Led by captain Charles Ollivon and the formidable combination of Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont, they will be determined to make it fourth time the charm. Behind them is a whole country waiting to celebrate come 28 October, 2023.