Revenge on the menu for France
February 8, 2010
Brian O'Driscoll scored his eighth try against France last season © Getty Images
Didier Camberabero Vincent Clerc Christian Darrouy Thierry Lacroix Willie-John McBride Brian O'Driscoll Ronan O'Gara Joseph Quinn Philippe Sella Fergus Slattery David Venditti
The nations meet for the 86th time since 1909 in a major Test on Saturday, with France smarting after defeat to Ireland last season at Croke Park.
During the popular series of "Victory" internationals in 1946, France beat an Irish XV 4-3 in Dublin. Only France count that match as part of their Test record.
France head the series by 51 wins to 29 and the last of the five drawn matches was in 1985. France have won seven of their eight most recent encounters, including the Rugby World Cup matches of 2003 (in Melbourne) and 2007 (Paris).
Ireland's highest score came in their 31-43 defeat at the Stade de France in 2006 - an extraordinary game in which the Irish trailed 43-3 early in the second half before scoring 28 late points without reply. Ireland's best win was in the early years of the fixture - 24-0 in Cork in 1913.
There have been five try hat-tricks in the series, two by Ireland and three by France. Joe Quinn scored three tries for Ireland in 1913 and Brian O'Driscoll did so in 2000. France's first hat-trick was scored by their left-wing Christian Darrouy in Dublin in 1963, David Venditti repeated the feat in Dublin in 1997 and Vincent Clerc did so in Paris in 2008.
Darrouy heads the list of try scorers for the overall series, crossing eight times. O'Driscoll is the leading Irish try scorer with eight to date.
Irishmen hold the other major records for the matches: Ronan O'Gara has scored 104 overall points (compared with 50 for France by Didier Camberabero), and Willie-John McBride and Fergus Slattery each played 15 times in this fixture. Philippe Sella appeared 13 times for France.
Ireland-France results in the Six Nations:
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"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers