Teddy Thomas scored a hat-trick of tries on his France debut as South African-born Scott Spedding also shone on his first appearance for les Bleus in a 40-15 victory over Fiji in Marseille on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Thomas barely budged from his left wing position but was in the right place at the right time to finish off three excellent French moves.
He became only the second Frenchman to score a hat-trick on his debut, following Rodolphe Modin, who managed three of the 13 tries Les Bleus scored against Zimbabwe at the 1987 World Cup in his only appearance.
“I don’t know if in the history of the French national team there have been a lot of players who have scored hat-tricks (on debut) but it’s a good performance,” said France captain Thierry Dusautoir.
“He’s the second. There’s a few thousand (players) who have been capped so it’s a great performance. He worked hard for the team as well as his tries.
“Scott played well, overall it’s good because the new caps expressed themselves without showing doubt.”
Spedding, whose selection had caused much controversy in France, was the architect for two of those tries while Thomas’s fellow Basque, five-eighth Camille Lopez, kicked 13 points.
Pascal Pape and Wesley Fofana also crossed the whitewash for France, while seven players made their Les Bleus debuts.
French-based wings Watisoni Votu and Timoci Nagusa crossed for Fiji’s two tries as the Pacific Islanders lost to France for the ninth time in as many attempts.
“Although we did a lot of good in the game in other areas we were very poor,” admitted Fiji’s New Zealander coach John McKee.