France

Coronavirus: Notre-Dame repairs restart amid lockdown

A fire tore through the iconic medieval building last April, destroying its roof and spire but leaving its structure intact.

President Emmanuel Macron later vowed to restore the building within five years.

The global coronavirus pandemic forced officials to delay the planned start of reconstruction on 23 March.

But on Monday, workers returned to the construction site to make it compliant with new social distancing rules.

Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, the rector at Notre-Dame, says this includes modifying changing rooms and showers for workers.

Germany and France announce strict measures to stem spread of coronavirus

French President Emmanuel Macron announced an enforced lockdown, a step similar to curbs imposed by Italy and Spain, saying: "We're in a health war".

Mr Macron also said the European Union's external borders would be closed to travellers from Tuesday.

In Germany, most non-grocery shops and venues have been ordered to shut.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also banned religious services and told people to cancel any domestic or foreign holiday travel. Schools across the country have already been shut.

Wales 23-27 France

Wales fought back to consign 14-man Les Bleus to a heartbreaking Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat in Oita four months ago, but secured a first win in Cardiff for a decade on Saturday.

Clinical in attack and resolute in defence, thanks in no small part to former Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards, France left the Welsh's hopes of winning back-to-back Six Nations titles in tatters.

Anthony Bouthier scored his first Test try and Paul Willemse also went over in a first half that ended with Fabien Galthie's inspired side deservedly leading 19-7.

France 35-22 Italy

Les Bleus overcame Rugby World Cup finalists England in their opening game at the Stade de France and saw off Italy to start with two straight wins for the first time since 2016. 

Gregory Alldritt crossed on the stroke of half-time after Matteo Minozzi had reduced the arrears following early scores for Teddy Thomas and Charles Ollivon. 

Romain Ntamack's superb solo try then preceded a loss of concentration from France that was punished by Federico Zani. 

Farrell offers no excuses

France made a dream start to the Fabien Galthie era at Stade de France, though England gave them a huge helping hand on a wet Sunday in Paris.

The Rugby World Cup runners-up dominated possession and territory, but a double from new captain Charles Ollivon after Vincent Rattez's early try and nine points from the boot of Romain Ntamack put clinical Les Bleus 24-0 up.

A brace of sublime solo tries from Jonny May set the nerves jangling, yet England could only muster a bonus point courtesy of Farrell's penalty with the last kick of the game.

Uncapped France duo to start

Montpellier duo Bouthier and Haouas will start at full-back and tighthead prop respectively in Paris at the dawn of a new era under head coach Fabien Galthie.

Charles Ollivon captains Les Bleus for the first time, while livewire wing Teddy Thomas returns to the starting line-up after missing out on the Rugby World Cup.

Galthie has put his faith in youth for the tournament, with Boris Palu and Cameron Woki hoping to make win their first caps off the bench in 'Le Crunch'.

Leone Nakarawa closing in on a return to Glasgow

Nakarawa was sacked by Top 14 club Racing 92 after he returned from the World Cup in Japan two weeks late, with a statement from the club slating the 62-test international for setting “deplorable example” for his now-former teammates.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s premier second rowers, Nakarawa’s newfound free agency has spurred interest from clubs around the globe.

Wallabies to face France in 2020

Australia's clash with the French will be the second in their 2020 Spring Tour, on November 14, one of three matches already confirmed for the trip.

The Aussies last played France on a 2016 Grand Slam tour, with the Wallabies eking out a narrow win over the hosts in that clash.

Australia will open their Spring Tour against Ireland in Dublin before this Paris clash, with a Twicken

No match has been announced for the November 21 weekend but Wales would appear a potential opponent as the only home nation yet to announce their end-of-year schedule

Portugal the underdogs against France and Germany

The three heavyweights were drawn together in a tough-looking Group F for next year's tournament, with a play-off contestant still to be added.

France and Germany will enter as winners of the past two World Cups, while Portugal are preparing to defend the trophy they unexpectedly won in 2016.

Santos' side were also crowned inaugural Nations League champions in June but the wily 65-year-old coach quickly positioned his team as underdogs.

"It will be a strong group, two favourites and a candidate," Santos told reporters.

Pregnant woman killed by dogs in France during hunt in the area

The body of the 29-year-old, who was walking her own dogs, was discovered near the town of Villers-Cotterêts.

She died after "several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs and the head," prosecutor Frederic Trinh said.

Tests on 93 dogs were being carried out in an attempt to establish which of the dogs were responsible for the attack.

Five dogs belonging to the woman were among those being tested.

An autopsy showed that the victim suffered dog bites to the head, torso and arms. Police said they had opened a manslaughter investigation.