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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 March 2006, 22:00 GMT
Champions France target World Cup
French team boss Jo Maso (left) and coach Bernard Laporte
Maso (left) is in upbeat mood as French prepare to host the World Cup
Team manager Jo Maso believes France are on course to lift the 2007 World Cup after their Six Nations success.

"We have won 13 of the last 15 matches over three years in the Six Nations. We are undefeated in France in seven matches since November," he said.

"We have also got the record number of points since 2000 in the Six Nations. This team is going to go a long way."

Coach Bernard Laporte was more guarded, adding: "We are not yet world champions but we are proud of these players."

France won four of their five matches in this year's Six Nations, their only defeat coming against Scotland in the opening round of matches.

No-one jumped ship and we all stayed together
France coach Bernard Laporte

But they clinched the title by beating Wales 21-16 in Cardiff.

Laporte admitted his team had not produced their best performance at the Millennium Stadium but was quick to lavish praise on Welsh scrum-half Mike Phillips.

"We weren't brilliant around the rucks and breakdowns, but we must congratulate him. He had a very good match today," said Laporte.

"We missed three high balls at the start, missed tackles and had the yellow card (shown to Raphael Ibanez) but we didn't panic and that was important.

"No-one jumped ship and we all stayed together and we have to congratulate the squad and our captain Fabien Pelous for leading them."

Pelous said his team's Six Nations success had exceeded his expectations.

"At the beginning of the tournament we didn't think we would win the trophy but we worked a lot and now we can take the trophy to France," he said.

"For that I am very proud of my players."

Highlights: Wales 16-21 France

Highlights: Fabien Pelou lifts the Six Nations trophy

Wales 16-21 France
18 Mar 06 |  Six Nations
Johnson frustrated by Wales loss
18 Mar 06 |  Six Nations


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