France, Wales reach Rugby World Cup semifinals



AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — France reached the Rugby World Cup semifinals for the third consecutive tournament, defeating England 19-12 Saturday after racing to a 16-0 halftime lead.

Next up for the French is Wales, which advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 24 years with a 22-10 victory over Ireland.

France was playing a week after its loss to Tonga, an upset that almost cost the French a spot in the knockout rounds.

The French have lost in the semifinals of the past two Worlds Cups, both times to England. The Welsh are in the semifinals for the first time since the inaugural World Cup in New Zealand.

In Sunday’s quarterfinals, it’s defending champion South Africa against Australia and New Zealand against Argentina.