Villiere hat-trick inspires France to win vs. Italy


France began their bid for a first Six Nations title since 2010 with a 37-10 bonus-point win over Italy at a rain-soaked Stade de France on Sunday, as winger Gabin Villiere ran in a hat-trick.

Italy, looking for a first Championship win since 2015 and their first ever victory in Paris, took a surprise lead when teenage debutant Tommaso Menoncello gathered a kick to finish in the corner.

France struck back with Anthony Jelonch and Villiere tries to take an eight-point lead into halftime.

Villiere weaved a path through the Italian defence to cross again after the break before Damian Penaud added the bonus-point score, and Villiere dived over for his third with the clock in the red.

France are level with Ireland on five points at the top of the table after the opening round, ahead of their meeting in Paris next Saturday.

Italy face England in Rome on Sunday, where both sides will be looking to respond to opening-day defeats after the English lost their opener in Scotland.

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