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'We will learn' - Raphael Ibanez makes France World Cup admission following win over Uruguay

France team manager Raphael Ibanez believes his squad will learn from having to battle past Uruguay to continue their winning start to the World Cup at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.

Ibanez made 12 changes to the starting XV which had opened the tournament with an impressive victory over three-time world champions New Zealand in Paris, with Anthony Jelonch returning from a lengthy ACL injury absence to captain the team.

It was, though, far from plain sailing as an early try from Nicolas Freitas stunned the home crowd and Uruguay saw another before half-time ruled out for obstruction in the build-up.

On another night, France could have also been playing most of the match a man down after a high challenge from lock Romain Taofifenua on Santiago Arata was deemed only to be a yellow card after a review in the bunker by the TMO, Welshman Ben Whitehouse.

France eventually pulled clear in the second half when Peato Mauvaka touched down under the posts and then any hopes of a comeback from Los Teros were finally ended after 20-year-old Louis Bielle-Biarrey went over in the corner.

“It was a hard battle, but a second win for us in this competition, which is the most important,” Ibanez said, quoted on the Rugby World Cup website.

“We made some mistakes with the ball in hand and it was difficult for us to play with a good structure.

“We didn’t take the points at the end of the first half – it’s a World Cup game – and we will learn from that.”

Uruguay captain Andreas Vilaseca feels there is more to come from his side, who emerged from their first Pool A match with great credit.

“I am so proud of my team. I could not ask for a better team to lead,” he said.

“We were fighting against France, one of the best teams in the world, playing on their home ground – this is only the beginning for us.”

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