England look to reverse recent history
March 12, 2012
Ireland celebrate Tommy Bowe's score in last year's Six Nations clash in Dublin © Getty Images
England's Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday will be the 126th meeting between the two sides whose rivalry dates back to 1875.
The fixture is the second oldest on the international calendar - behind England v Scotland - and England lead the all-time stats with 71 wins to Ireland's 45. The last of the eight drawn games was in 1968.
The two sides met twice last year with Ireland ending England's Grand Slam dreams in Dublin back in March with a 24-8 triumph. However, prior to the World Cup, England broke their Dublin hoodoo with an impressive 20-9 win. The last time the two sides met at Twickenham, Ireland prevailed 20-16.
England scored a record seven tries at a windy Lansdowne Road in their 36-14 victory in 1938. Their skipper that day, Peter Cranmer, was however relieved of the captaincy for the rest of the season. Ireland's best try total is five: in 1905 at Cork, and in freezing conditions in Dublin in 1947, when they won 22-0.
England's Paul Grayson set the record for most points in a match, scoring 23 at Twickenham in 1996. Ollie Campbell established the points record for Ireland by scoring 21 in Dublin in 1983 and Ronan O'Gara matched that achievement at Croke Park in 2007.
The only try hat-tricks scored in the series were by Henry Taylor for England at Manchester in 1881 and Chris Oti at Twickenham in 1988. A dozen Irishmen have scored two tries in a match - Shane Horgan's brace at Twickenham in 2006 being the most recent instance.
The overall record for scoring most tries in the fixture belongs to Rory Underwood, who scored seven for England between 1984 and 1996.
Jonny Wilkinson is the leading overall scorer in the fixture with 107 for England in 11 games between 1998 (when he made his Test debut as an eighteen-year-old) and 2011. Ronan O'Gara holds the Irish record for the series with 95 points from 12 matches.
Mike Gibson, who played in 15 successive matches for Ireland (1964-78), set the record for most appearances in the games. Rory Underwood appeared 14 times for England.
England - Ireland Six Nations results:
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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