Wales v France, Rugby World Cup semi-final, October 16
New territory for old rivals
October 10, 2011
Lionel Nallet on his way to scoring one of two tries against Wales © Getty Images
Wales meet France for the first time ever at a Rugby World Cup in Auckland on Saturday as both sides look to reach the final.
Despite facing each other 88 times since 1908, the two nations have never been thrown together in a Rugby World Cup. And history gives little indication of how the game might turn out. Of the 88 matches between the nations, France have won 42 while Wales have won 43 with three draws. Wales' superior record owes much to their 15-match winning streak in the first games played between the nations.
However recent form suggests that France may have a psychological edge having beaten Warren Gatland's men in their last three meeting, six of their last seven encounters and nine in their last eleven. Wales' only victory over Les Bleus in the past six years came at the Millennium Stadium in March 2008. On that day Shane Williams and his namesake Martin both crossed for tries while James Hook kicked three penalties and Stephen Jones landed two penalties and two conversions in a 29-12 win.
Possibly Wales' most famous victory over France came during the 2005 Six Nations when Martyn Williams inspired a second-half comeback with two tries as Wales went on to win 24-18 in Paris, and later claimed the Grand Slam. The last meeting between the two sides came in this year's Six Nations when two tries from Lionel Nallet helped France to a 28-9 win in the Stade de France.
Wales v France
All-time record: Played 88; Wales won 43, France won 42, Draw 3
Biggest winning margins: Wal:42 (47-5, Colombes, 1909); Fra: 51 (51-0,Wembley, 1998)
Highest score: Wal:49 (49-14, Swansea, 1910); Fra: 51 (51-0,Wembley, 1998)
Most tries: Wal: 11 (47-5, Colombes, 1909); Fra: 7 (51-0,Wembley,1998)
Most points (individual): Wal: 152 Neil Jenkins; Fra: 53 Christophe Lamaison
Most tries (individual): Wal: 7 Reggie Gibbs; Fra: 6 Serge Blanco and Emile Ntamack
Previous World Cup meetings: None
Click Here for Wales' full Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for France's full Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for a full record of all France v Wales matches courtesy of Statsguru
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888