France women's national rugby union team
|Union||French Rugby Federation|
| France 4-0 Netherlands
(Utrecht, Netherlands 13 April 1982)
| France 99-0 Japan
(Edinburgh, Scotland 17 April 1994)
| New Zealand 109-0 France
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 14 September 1996)
|Appearances||7 (First in 1991)|
|Best result||3rd place, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014|
Source: "Des Filles en Ovalie", Editions Atlantica (2005), Written by Jacques Corte / Yaneth Pinilla B. Foreword by Serge Betsen.
There are records of women's rugby being played in France as early as the mid-1890s, and in the 1920s a form of the game called "barette" was very popular, with national championships. However, after the 1930s the game had all but disappeared, and was not revived until 1965 when groups of students in Lyon and Toulouse decided to take part in the great charitable campaign against world hunger. Most of them had brothers and friends who played rugby, so they decide to organise a charity game at Bourg-en-Bresse.
So successful was this that a regular series of games began, with clubs being formed as students graduated, initially mainly in the south. In 1969 a national association - the ARF [Women's Rugby Association] - was formed. Despite initial opposition to the game from both the government and the FFR (who briefly banned any FFR officials from officiating at women's games) by 1976 12 clubs were taking part in national competitions.
In 1982, by which time the number of clubs had more than doubled, the ARF signed a memorandum of understanding was agreed with the FFR which finally gave their gave official backing - and in the same year France took part in the first ever women's rugby international.
Note: Although the FFR list all of the following as full internationals or "test matches" in their publications (including their website), they do not award caps for all of the games. In particular no caps have been officially awarded for appearances before 1989 (when the FFR became responsible for women's rugby), and most matches in FIRA tournaments after 2004 are uncapped. As a result, there can be a significant difference between the number of appearances players may have made for France and their official number of caps.
(Full internationals only)
Correct as of 30 November 2016
Squad for 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup
Head Coach: Christian Galonnier
Note: Flags indicate national union for the club/province as defined by World Rugby.
See Women's international rugby for information about the status of international games and match numbering