France last lost in July 2021. They gave away 1 card in 2022 and average below 10 penalties a game.
The scary thing is they are just getting started. They have the more than double the number of players that New Zealand does, 30 professional teams each with academies, a massive broadcasting deal and are now much more professionally run. They still have long way to go with more professional strength and conditioning and player management. If they get that right they will be even harder to beat consistently.
Ireland have lost 3 games in 2 years, two of which were to France. They certainly don’t have the depth of France and are still too reliant on Sexton but they are a superb side.
They are number 1 and 2 in the world by a fair distance. No one else has been remotely consistent over the same period.
Well, I did mention France and Ireland by name as potential exceptions :)
France played 8 tests this year. Australia played 14 by comparison. Australia and Japan very nearly tipped them over (though a win is a win). I am not saying they aren't doing well, but it does require some qualification.
I would have liked to have seen us have a test against France this year to get a bit of an idea on things.