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Rugby Union: Pelous eyes next World Cup.

Byline: Isabelle Rondeau

France skipper Fabien Pelous, having snatched the RBS 6 Nations trophy from England, is already dreaming of taking the William Webb Ellis Trophy from the grasp of Sir Clive Woodward's team.

The next World Cup will be held in 2007 in France and Pelous is already focusing on that objective after the 24-21 win over the world champions at the Stade de France that sealed a French Grand Slam.

The 2007 World Cup may still be far away but for Pelous, France's win on Saturday night should have laid the foundation stone for their future success. 'Victories make a group more united, and our Grand Slam is a huge step,' said Pelous.

'The next World Cup needs to be the beautiful achievement of four years of hard work.

'This Six Nations tournament marks the start of this adventure.

'I really would like us to play the same way England did between 1999 and 2003.

'They gradually increased their control on the game and improved their physical strength.

'And if we can win more titles between now and then it will prove that we are on the right track.'

Saturday's Grand Slam was Pelous' fourth of his career, but the first as captain.

'When I am retired it will be nice to look back and think about all these Grand Slams,' added the 91-capped Frenchman.

Meanwhile French coach, Bernard Laporte, praised England for their sporting behaviour.

'England were superb in defeat. After the whistle, they stayed on the pitch during the official ceremony, clapping continually for 20 minutes,' he said.

'They taught us a great lesson. They still are world champions. I think they still are the best team in the world.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 29, 2004
Words:284
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