France eye Grand Slam revenge
March 15, 2010
Delon Armitage is mobbed after scoring a try in England's 2009 rout © Getty Images
England and France will clash for the 93rd time when they go head-to-head in the 2010 Six Nations at the Stade de France this weekend.
Les Bleus are in search of a first Grand Slam since 2004 and also have the added carrot of avenging their humiliating 34-10 Twickenham defeat from last season. If they win Les Bleus will secure their ninth clean sweep, taking them closer to Wales' 10 and England's 12.
England lead the all-time series, that began in 1906, by 50 wins to 35 and the last of the seven draws was in 1985. The highest score in the matches is England's 48-19 win at Twickenham in 2001, though their best winning margin was 37-0 (also at Twickenham) in 1911.
The corresponding French records were set in their 37-12 win in 1972 in the last international staged at the Stade Colombes in Paris and they equalled their best margin in the 31-6 win at Stade de France in 2006.
England scored nine tries in the 1906, 1907 and 1914 matches. France's best return is six: in 1970, 1972 and 1976.
Jonny Wilkinson set the record for most points in a match scoring all of England's in the 24-7 World Cup semi-final win in Sydney in 2003 and overtaking Douglas (nicknamed "Daniel") Lambert, who scored 22 at Twickenham in 1911. Lambert still holds the record for most tries in a match and in the series. He scored five at Richmond in 1907 and eight in three appearances.
The best individual performance for France is 19 points by Dimitri Yachvili at Stade de France in 2004. Michel Crauste, a flanker, scored the only try hat-trick of tries for France in the series, in Paris in 1962. Altogether Crauste scored four tries against England, a French record for the series that he shares with Philippe Sella.
Wilkinson is the leading overall scorer in the series with 153 points for England in eleven appearances between 1999 and 2008. The corresponding record for France belongs to Yachvili who notched up 65 in his six matches from 2003 to 2008.
England v France Six Nations results:
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham