Wales have regained the Six Nations Championship they last won in 2019 after France went down to a dramatic late 27-23 defeat to Scotland, who recorded their first win in Paris in 20 years.
Wayne Pivac's side had looked set to secure the Grand Slam for the second time in three attempts last week when they led France in the dying stages of their final match in this year’s Championship. But Brice Dulin’s last-gasp try earned Les Bleus a 32-30 victory and gave his side a chance of pipping Wales to the Six Nations title.
But on Friday at the Stade de France a disjointed performance meant that France neither scored the four tries needed for a bonus-point win nor registered the 21-point gap necessary to finish above Wales, sending the Championship Trophy to the Principality Stadium as a result.
France led early thanks to a Romain Ntamack penalty but Duhan van der Merwe drove over for a try which gave Scotland the lead and Finn Russell added a penalty to his conversion as the visitors took control. Yet France were back ahead by the break following a Dulin try and two goals from Ntamack, and that three-point lead became eight soon after the break when Damian Penaud went over.
Russell reduced the gap again with the boot before Dave Cherry scored a try which was given by the TMO, with Russell’s conversion putting the Scots back ahead for only four minutes before Swan Rebbadj went over from close range.
Russell was then sent off for leading with an elbow on Dulin with 10 minutes to go, but France still never looked likely to add the necessary gloss to the scoreline which would have overhauled Wales at the top of the table. And to cap off their disappointment, Van der Merwe went over for a dramatic second try in the fifth minute of additional time after the visitors had built up 20 phases of attack.
Wales’ 28th tournament title under its various guises is Pivac’s first piece of silverware since the Kiwi took over from compatriot Warren Gatland following the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.