History on France's side
September 5, 2011
France's Aurelien Rougerie crossed the line twice against Japan back in 2003 © Getty Images
France and Japan will meet for just the third time when they go head-to-head at North Shore City on Saturday.
The Brave Blossoms are chasing their first success in the series with France having prevailed in the two previous meetings with an impressive six-try tally in both games. In the first meeting between the two sides in Bordeaux 1973, Jean-Claude Skrela was among the scorers as the hosts scored a 30-18 win. France's other tries came from fullback Jean-Michel Aguirre, scrum-half Max Barrau, winger Roland Bertranne, Gilles Delaigue and No.8 Olivier Saisset.
The only other meeting between these two sides came during the 2003 World Cup where Les Bleus claimed a 51-29 success with winger Aurelien Rougerie leading the way with two tries.
Japan's World Cup record does not make happy reading with just one - against Zimbabwe back in 1991 - and a draw - against Canada during the 2007 tournament the only results of note while they are just 25 points away from having conceded 1,000 points in World Cup matches. In contrast, France have reached the semi-finals on five of the last six occasions. Going into this match, only New Zealand (30) and Australia (28) have won more World Cup matches than France who have 26 victories to their name.
France v Japan
All-time record: Played: 2, France won 2, Japan won 0
Biggest winning margin: France: 22 (51-29) in Townsville, Australia, October 18, 2003
Highest score: 51 - France (51-29) in Townsville, Australia, October 18, 2003
Most tries: France: 6: (30-18) in Bordeaux, October 27, 1973, (51-29) in Townsville, Australia, October 18, 2003
Most points (individual): France: Frederic Michalak (24); Japan: Toru Kurihara (19)
Most tries (individual): France: (2) Aurelien Rougerie.
Previous Rugby World Cup meetings: One
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