[photograph courtesy of Empics via http://rugbynetwork.net]
The French rugby team have rarely enjoyed much success on their forays across La Manche to take on the troops of Blighty. Here are the eleven glorious exceptions when the descendants of Joan of Arc managed to conquer John Bull in his own backyard.
24th of February 1951: England 3 FRANCE 11
Boobbyer achieved a first-half try for England, but they still trailed 5-3 at the interval. The French then added a second try after half time to make history.
26th of February 1955: England 9 FRANCE 16
The hosts led 6-3 at the halfway stage, but the French produced a storming second half. Jean Prat kicked two drop goals, in addition to his team’s two tries.
25th of February 1967: England 12 FRANCE 16
The French fly half Guy Camberabero kicked a drop goal, a penalty, and converted both of his team’s tries, scored by Claude Dourthe and Bernard Duprat.
1st of February 1975: England 20 FRANCE 27
Peter Rossborough kicked four penalties and grabbed one of his team’s two tries, but France replied with four of their own, all converted by Lucien Paries.
19th of February 1977: England 3 FRANCE 4
A try for Sangalli broke the deadlock soon after half time. Alastair Hignell replied with a penalty, but France held on, helped by 5 missed penalties by Hignell.
21st of March 1981: England 12 FRANCE 16
Grand slam-chasing France led 16-0 at the interval, thanks to two drop goals from their fly half Guy Laporte and tries for Pierre Lacans and Laurent Pardo.
15th of January 1983: England 15 FRANCE 19
Dusty Hare kicked four penalties, but France scored three tries, courtesy of flying winger Patrick Esteve, the prop forward Paparemborde, and Philippe Sella.
21st of February 1987: England 15 FRANCE 19
In a repeat score from 1983, this time Marcus Rose kicked four penalties, as he had done in 1981, but unstoppable France scored a try in each half.
1st of March 1997: England 20 FRANCE 23
England were comfortably ahead 14-6 at the interval, but Christophe Lamaison defied them with a try, a drop goal, two penalties, and two conversions.
13th of February 2005: England 17 FRANCE 18
Converted tries from Barkley and Lewsey presented England with a 17-6 half-time advantage. However, Yachvili added four penalties in the second half.
11th of August 2007: England 15 FRANCE 21
This was a World Cup warm-up fixture. Again England led at half time, 12-11. Nevertheless, France recorded the only tries of the match, one in each half.