Uncle Nephew Duo Help France To Victory At RWC

Rugby World Cup's 10th Edition, In France. Image: World Rugby.

Last night, Rugby World Cup 2023 hosts France played their second game of the tournament against Uruguay and came away with a 27-12 victory in Lille. After inflicting a first-ever pool stage defeat on the All Blacks in round one, Fabien Galthie’s side have made it two from two. While there are many talking points from the match, the most interesting and unique of all may be that France was able to see the game out with the help of good performances from an uncle and nephew partnership.

Family Fortunes

In this year’s World Cup, there are a number of brothers in various squads together, such as the Barretts for New Zealand or the Fagersons for Scotland, but very rarely do we see an uncle and his nephew share the pitch on the sport’s biggest stage.

Yoram Moefana, the 23-year-old back, started the game against Uruguay at inside-centre and played the full 80 minutes to send France well on their way to reaching the knockout stages of the competition. Moefana looked sharp, always trying to be involved and ran some brilliant lines that led to scoring opportunities for his side.

On the 50th-minute mark, however, history was made as Moefana’s uncle Sipili Falatea, 26, came off the bench to join his nephew on the pitch at the 10th Rugby World Cup. The two had half an hour of game time on home soil together and were integral in France’s efforts to pull away from Uruguay and move top of Pool A with two games to play.

Not only do the two play together at an international level, but they also share a dressing room at club side Bordeaux Begles. Additionally, to further strengthen this rugby bloodline, Falatea’s older brother and Moefana’s other uncle, Tapu, also plays professional rugby and previously featured for Castres in both the French Top 14 and European Challenge Cup.

As a rugby nation, France has had a number of family dynasties come through their ranks, particularly as father-son duos. Superstar flyhalf Romain Ntamack’s father and uncle both pulled on the blue jersey before him, while iconic scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili followed in the footsteps of his father Michel.

The difference here, however, is that they play in the same era and with just three years separating Falatea and Moefana, we may well see this French family bond for many years to come.

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Written by

Ross Sanderson

Based in Edinburgh, Ross is an NCTJ-qualified journalist. Having previously lived in Madrid, he specialises in Spanish Culture, Sport and Cuisine.


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