All to play for in France
March 5, 2012
Ben Foden goes over for England last year © Getty Images
England and France will clash for the 96th time when they go head-to-head at the Stade de France on Sunday.
England lead the all-time series, that began in 1906, by 51 wins to 37 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.
Sunday's game will be the 48th time England have travelled to France to face Les Bleus with France enjoying the bulk of the recent bragging rights. They won 12-10 there in 2010 but England prevailed two years previous 24-13.
France's biggest win came in 1972 when they triumphed 37-12 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 161 points for England in 14 appearances between 1999 and 2011. The corresponding record for France belongs to Yachvili who notched up 80 in his eight matches from 2003 to 2011.
France v England Six Nations results:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery