England look to extend winning run
March 9, 2009
England's Nick Easter fends off France's Vincent Clerc during their Six Nations clash at Twickenham in 2007 © Getty Images
Michel Crauste Danny Lambert Jason Leonard Fabien Pelous Philippe Sella Jonny Wilkinson Dimitri Yachvili
England and France will clash for the 92nd time when they go head-to-head in the 2009 Six Nations at Twickenham this weekend.
England lead the all-time series, that began in 1906, by 49 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.
There have been 41 Tests between the sides at Twickenham since 1911. England lead by 25 wins to 11 and there were draws in 1922, 1959, 1961, 1971 and 1985. France's first win on English soil was in 1951 and further successes followed in 1955, 1967, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1997, 2005 and the 2007 Rugby World Cup warm-up match.
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 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
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"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
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin