History stacked in France's favour
February 27, 2012
Maxime Medard celebrates his try against Ireland last year © Getty Images
Ireland and France will contest the 90th Test between the two sides when the pair meet at the Stade de France on Sunday.
France lead the overall series by 55 wins to 29 thanks to their 26-22 victory in Dublin prior to the 2011 World Cup last year, with the last of the five drawn matches taking place in 1985. France have won 11 of their 12 most recent encounters, including the Rugby World Cup matches of 2003 (in Melbourne) and 2007 (Paris) and their triumph at the Aviva Stadium in last year's Six Nations.
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.
France's Darrouy and Vincent Clerc along with Ireland's O'Driscoll lead the try scoring record in Tests between the two teams with eight each. Irishmen hold the other major records for the matches: Ronan O'Gara has scored 127 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.
Note: 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-Ireland results in the Six Nations:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra