France hoping for second Friday feast
February 22, 2010
Wales fell short in Paris in 2009 © Getty Images
Wales host France in the Six Nations' second Friday night game on February 26, with Les Bleus holding happy memories of last season's thrilling Stade de France victory.
Last year's meeting between the sides was the first-ever Five/Six Nations match staged on a Friday. The Championship, which admitted France in 1910 and Italy in 2000, has also seen matches played on every other day of the week.
There have been 85 official matches involving Wales and France since 1908. Wales have won 43, France 40 and the last of the three draws was in 1974. Wales lead by three wins to two in the five matches staged at the Stade de France since 1999.
France gave caps for two additional "Victory" Internationals staged in 1945-46. France won one of these and the Welsh XV the other.
France set the records for the highest score and biggest winning margin in the series in their 51-0 Wembley Stadium win in 1998. The French ran in seven tries that afternoon, their best return for this fixture.
The best Welsh victories to date are 49-14 (highest score) in 1910 at St Helen's, Swansea and 47-5 (best margin) in Paris in 1909 when they created the record for most tries in a match in the series (eleven).
The highest individual haul in a match is 29 points by Neil Jenkins in the Cardiff friendly in August 1999. He also scored 28 in Paris in 2001, chalking up a full-house of scoring actions with a try, four conversions, three penalty goals and two drops.
Guy Camberabero performed that feat for France in Paris in 1967, scoring a try, conversion, two drop goals and a penalty goal in a 20-14 win. But it is Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, with 24 at Cardiff in 2004, who holds the French points record for a match.
Reggie Gibbs set the record for most tries in a match, crossing four times in Wales's 36-4 win at Cardiff on a Monday afternoon in March 1908. Emile Ntamack is the only French player to score a hat-trick of tries in a match in this series, in Paris in 1999.
Gibbs also heads the list for most overall tries in the matches. His seven were scored in only three appearances between 1908 and 1911. For France, Serge Blanco crossed six times in eleven matches between 1981 and 1991 and Emile Ntamack also scored six tries in the series.
Neil Jenkins is the leading overall scorer with 152 points for Wales in 13 appearances between 1991 and 2001. Christophe Lamaison holds the French record with 53 points in his five matches between 1997 and 2001.
Philippe Sella, who appeared 14 times for France between 1983 and 1995, created the record for most appearances in this fixture. Neil Jenkins played 13 times for Wales between 1991 and 2001.
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