France player ratings: ‘Superstar’ shines in Six Nations thriller as Thomas Ramos boots Les Bleus to narrow win over England

Jared Wright
France's Thomas Ramos celebrates victory after the final whistle in the Guinness Six Nations match at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France.

France's Thomas Ramos celebrates victory after the final whistle in the Guinness Six Nations match at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France.

Following their 33-31 victory over England, here is how we rated the France players as they clinched second place in the Six Nations.

France player ratings v England

15 Leo Barre: After sending Nolann Le Garrec over for his try, the full-back opened his international account, getting on the end of a sharp Charles Ollivon offload. Regularly ate up the metres on the counter-attack and was solid enough under the high ball. Could have done better with his defence for Tommy Freeman’s try, but he was isolated. 8

14 Damian Penaud: Added another try assist to his tally as he continues to contribute despite the five-pointers drying up – for his lofty standards – this campaign. The more he gets his hands on the ball, the better France’s attack looks as he continues to be a nightmare to contain. 7

13 Gaël Fickou: Caught completely flat-footed and ball-watching as Ollie Lawrence cruised past him to cut France’s lead before half-time. The French defence has not been up to scratch this Six Nations, and that is not all his doing, but it is a massive part of his game. He pounced on the opportunity to score, his third of the Championship, and was a real threat to the English defence, mixing up his approach superbly. 7

12 Nicolas Depoortere: The 21-year-old clearly has a bright future in the Les Bleus jumper, but his youth is clear to see, particularly on defence. Ball in hand, he is a joy to watch and played his part in some of France’s best-flowing attacks, including a perfectly timed short ball to Fickou for Le Garrec’s try. 5

11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey: The 20-year-old still has issues with his positioning on opposition kicks and some question marks around his defence which showed today. There were a few positives in attack, but overall, it was a quiet evening. 4

Half-backs

10 Thomas Ramos: Let’s not beat around the bush; he is a liability on defence, particularly in the number 10 channel, and England exploited that fact. But you have to take the good with the bad, and he has filled in well on attack in the fly-half role. His fortuitous volley landed perfectly for Fickou’s score, and he controlled the attack well with Le Garrec. Ice in his veins to slot the match-winner, which bumps up his rating. 8

Thomas Ramos’ clutch kicks sees France edge England in seven-try Six Nations thriller

9 Nolann Le Garrec: Tracked the lovely flowing attack in Antoine Dupont-esque fashion to round off a stunning try. As was the case last week, France’s attack looked sharper and more lethal. He kicked well, too, and is a real superstar who will keep Dupont honest in the future. 8

 Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

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Loose forwards

8 Gregory Alldritt: A combative shift from the French skipper as he got his hands on the ball plenty, and while he didn’t rack up the metres, he drew multiple defenders. Handy without being a standout. 5

7 Charles Ollivon: Never really has a poor game, but he was back to playing some of his best rugby with a handful of breaks paired with huge carries, relentless defence and added a lovely offload to send Barre over the line. 8

6 François Cros: Capped off a stellar campaign with another all-action outstanding shift. He kicked off his performance with a hulking first carry, setting the tone for his outing. He thundered through the breakdowns relentlessly throughout the game and kickstarted Le Garrec’s glorious score with an equally brilliant lineout steal. 8

Locks

5 Emmanuel Meafou: Second cap, and again, he looked right at home on the international stage. He put his huge frame to good use to draw in multiple defenders, thundered into tackles and was useful in the mauls. Hooked early in the second half with the similarly large Romain Taofifénua coming on. 6

4 Thibaud Flament: Like Cros, he just never stops working and breathed energy back into the second-row in the final two games. Played a crucial role in the breakdowns, mauls and lineouts. 7

Front-row and replacements

3 Uini Atonio: Busy defensive effort, solid in the scrums even with Ellis Genge holding his form well. Busier with the ball in hand than usual and went deeper into the game, too. 7

2 Julien Marchand: His elevation back to the starting XV has coincided with the upswing in form for Les Bleus, and it’s easy to see why, with his lineout darts incredibly accurate and his breakdown work superb. Huge on defence and effective in attack too. 6

1 Cyril Baille: Tidy is possibly the best description of his performance. No glitz, glamour or fuss, just got the job done. 5

Replacements: France needed their bench to swing momentum back into their favour. They weren’t as brutally effective as they were against Wales, but the replacements did what was required of them to get them back into the game and win the game. 8

READ MORE: Ireland seal back-to-back Six Nations titles after hard-fought victory over Scotland