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France beat Ireland in Elche 7s final

France have won the Elche 7s, beating Ireland in the final.

The Elche 7s has been an important warm-up tournament for European teams for some year, usefully placed in the calendar in the weeks leading up to Dubai.

This year five nations sent teams – Belgium, France, Ireland, Poland and Spain - with France also sending an “Emerging France” team mainly made up of young uncontracted players. The teams were generally made up young rising stars built around a core of experienced players.

The surprise of the opening day were the performances of Poland and the Emerging France team, the former going through the day unbeaten (along with the main French side), while the latter recorded impressive wins over Spain and Ireland.

Poland were unable to maintain their performance on the second day, Iosing 19-0 to Ireland in what was effectively a semi-final. Even so Poland went on to finish an impressive third with a good win over Emerging France in the playoff

Ireland’s opponents in the final was France, repeating the opening game of the tournament, which France had won 33-7. The final was a far closer affair, but France still emerged winners 26-19.

Squads

Belgium: Margaux Lalli; Shari Claes; Manon Nairac; Cécile Blondiau; Margaux Stévins; Geertrui Vercaemer; Emilie Musch; Loes Hubrecht; Evelien Rosier; Ella Amory; Margaux Pierson; Héloise Stévins; Pauline Gernaey

Emerging France: Emilie Boulard; Chloé Jacquet; Fiona Lecat; Léa Lenoir; Mouna Toure; Jade Ulutul Le Pesq; Yolaine Yengo; Brandy Cazorla; Alycia Chrystiaens; Emma Coudert; Joanna Gray; Lucy Hapulat; Shannon Van Peuter

France: Montserrat Amedée; Coralie Bertrand; Mathilde Coutouly; Célia Dranes; Camille Grassineau; Lina Guerin; Fanny Horta; Camille Imart; Shannon Izar; Nassira Konde; Séraphine Okemba; Lina Queyroi

Ireland: Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird ; Luinda Kinghan; Emily Lane; Megan Burns; Eve Higgins; Katie Fitzhenry; Anna Doyle; Laura Sheehan; Claire Boles; Maeve Liston; Katie Heffernan; Grace Moore

Poland: Karolina Jaszczyszyn; Anna Klichowska; Hanna Maliszewska; Katarzyna Paszczyk; Natalia Pamięta; Małgorzata Kołdej; Sylwia Witkowska; Zuzanna Juźwicka; Sandra Kłak; Agnieszka Kowalczyk; Angelika Piekorz; Patrycja Zawadzka

Spain: Cecilia Huarte; Beatriz Dominguez; Elisabeth Segarra; Lucia Diaz; Clara Piquero; Enara Cacho; Iciar Pozo; Iera Echebarria; Isabel Romon; Marta Cantabrana; Lea Ducher; Laura García; Rocio Rodera; Amaia Erbina; Anne Fernandez; Claudia Barrio

Results

Pool: France 33-7 Ireland; Poland 22-0 Belgium; Emerging France 26-19 Spain; Ireland 14-31 Emerging France; Belgium 0-45 France; Spain 5-20 Poland; Ireland 24-0 Belgium; France 24-10 Spain; Emerging France 14-17 Poland; Emerging France 24-17 Belgium; Spain 5-17 Ireland; Poland 5-38 France; Belgium 5-19 Spain; Ireland 19-0 Poland; France 31-7 Emerging France

5th place: Spain 7-19 Belgium

3rd place: Emerging France 14-17 Poland

Final: France 26-19 Ireland