France got their Six Nations title bid off to the perfect start with a crushing 50-10 bonus point victory over a youthful Italy side in the championship opener in Rome on Saturday.

The visitors raced into a commanding 21-point lead by halftime after 2020 Player of the Championship Antoine Dupont set up converted tries from Dylan Cretin, Gael Fickou and Arthur Vincent.

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The onslaught didn’t relent after the break as Brice Dulin and Dupont crossed the whitewash, while Teddy Thomas scored tries either side of Luca Sperandio’s consolation effort.

The huge victory further underlined the title-winning credentials of Fabien Galthie’s side, who finished as runners-up last year, while the inexperience of an Italian team featuring 11 starters with fewer than 10 caps was ruthlessly exposed.

England host Scotland at Twickenham later on Saturday and Ireland visit Wales on Sunday in the other Round One fixtures.

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