History of rugby union matches between England and France
The traditional name for the annual England versus France rugby union match in the Six Nations Championship as used on both sides of the English Channel is Le Crunch, used since at least 1981. Games have also been played as Tests and at the Rugby World Cup. England and France have played each other on 101 occasions, England winning 55, France winning 39, and 7 matches have been drawn. Overall, England have scored 1,592 points, and France 1,269.
- Overall 1.1
- Records 1.2
- Results 2
- Breakdown 3
World Cup meetings 4
- 1991 World Cup Quarter Final 4.1
- 1995 World Cup Third-Place Play-Off 4.2
- 2003 World Cup Semi Final 4.3
- 2007 World Cup Semi Final 4.4
- 2011 World Cup Quarter Final 4.5
- References 5
|Drawn||England points||France points|
RecordsNote: Date shown in brackets indicates when the record was or last set.
|Longest winning streak||11 (22 Mar 1906–25 Feb 1922)||4 (22 Jun 1995–7 Feb 1998)|
|Largest points for|
|Home||55 (21 March 2015)||37 (26 February 1972)|
|Away||39 (3 April 1914)||35 (21 March 2015)|
|Largest winning margin|
|Home||37 (28 January 1911)||25 (12 March 2006)|
|Away||27 (22 March 1906)||10 (22 June 1995)|
|101||22 August 2015||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||25 – 20||France||2015 Rugby World Cup warm ups||BBC Sport|
|100||15 August 2015||Twickenham, London||19 – 14||England||BBC Sport|
|99||21 March 2015||Twickenham, London||55 – 35||England||2015 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|98||1 February 2014||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||26 – 24||France||2014 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|97||23 February 2013||Twickenham, London||23 – 13||England||2013 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|96||11 March 2012||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||22 – 24||England||2012 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|95||8 October 2011||Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand||19 – 12||France||2011 Rugby World Cup||BBC Sport|
|94||26 February 2011||Twickenham, London||17 – 9||England||2011 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|93||20 March 2010||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||12 – 10||France||2010 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|92||15 March 2009||Twickenham, London||34 – 10||England||2009 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|91||23 February 2008||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||13 – 24||England||2008 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|90||13 October 2007||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||9 – 14||England||2007 Rugby World Cup||BBC Sport|
|89||18 August 2007||Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France||22 – 9||France||2007 Rugby World Cup warm up||BBC Sport|
|88||11 August 2007||Twickenham, London||15 – 21||France||BBC Sport|
|87||11 March 2007||Twickenham, London||26 – 18||England||2007 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|86||12 March 2006||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||31 – 6||France||2006 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|85||14 February 2005||Twickenham, London||17 – 18||France||2005 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|84||27 March 2004||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||24 – 21||France||2004 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|83||16 November 2003||Telstra Stadium, Sydney, Australia||24 – 7||England||2003 Rugby World Cup||BBC Sport|
|82||6 September 2003||Twickenham, London||45 – 14||England||2003 Rugby World Cup warm up||BBC Sport|
|81||30 August 2003||Stade Vélodrome, Marseille||17 – 16||France||BBC Sport|
|80||15 February 2003||Twickenham, London||25 – 17||England||2003 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|79||2 March 2002||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||20 – 15||France||2002 Six Nations Championship|
|78||7 April 2001||Twickenham, London||48 – 19||England||2001 Six Nations Championship|
|77||19 February 2000||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||9 – 15||England||2000 Six Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|76||20 March 1999||Twickenham, London||21 – 10||England||1999 Five Nations Championship||BBC Sport|
|75||7 February 1998||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||24 – 17||France||1998 Five Nations Championship|
|74||1 March 1997||Twickenham, London||20 – 23||France||1997 Five Nations Championship|
|73||20 January 1996||Parc des Princes, Paris, France||15 – 12||France||1996 Five Nations Championship|
|72||22 June 1995||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa||9 – 19||France||1995 Rugby World Cup|
|71||4 February 1995||Twickenham, London||31 – 10||England||1995 Five Nations Championship|
|70||5 March 1994||Parc des Princes, Paris||14 – 18||England||1994 Five Nations Championship|
|69||16 January 1993||Twickenham, London||16 – 15||England||1993 Five Nations Championship|
|68||15 February 1992||Parc des Princes, Paris||13 – 31||England||1992 Five Nations Championship|
|67||19 October 1991||Parc des Princes, Paris||10 – 19||England||1991 Rugby World Cup|
|66||16 March 1991||Twickenham, London||21 – 19||England||1991 Five Nations Championship|
|65||3 February 1990||Parc des Princes, Paris||7 – 26||England||1990 Five Nations Championship|
|64||4 March 1989||Twickenham, London||11 – 0||England||1989 Five Nations Championship|
|63||16 January 1988||Parc des Princes, Paris||10 – 9||France||1988 Five Nations Championship|
|62||21 February 1987||Twickenham, London||15 – 19||France||1987 Five Nations Championship|
|61||15 March 1986||Parc des Princes, Paris||29 – 10||France||1986 Five Nations Championship|
|60||2 February 1985||Twickenham, London||9 – 9||draw||1985 Five Nations Championship|
|59||3 March 1984||Parc des Princes, Paris||32 – 18||France||1984 Five Nations Championship|
|58||15 January 1983||Twickenham, London||15 – 19||France||1983 Five Nations Championship|
|57||20 February 1982||Parc des Princes, Paris||15 – 27||England||1982 Five Nations Championship|
|56||21 March 1981||Twickenham, London||12 – 16||France||1981 Five Nations Championship|
|55||2 February 1980||Parc des Princes, Paris||13 – 17||England||1980 Five Nations Championship|
|54||1 February 1979||Twickenham, London||7 – 6||England||1979 Five Nations Championship|
|53||21 January 1978||Parc des Princes, Paris||15 – 6||France||1978 Five Nations Championship|
|52||1 February 1977||Twickenham, London||3 – 4||France||1977 Five Nations Championship|
|51||20 March 1976||Parc des Princes, Paris||30 – 9||France||1976 Five Nations Championship|
|50||1 February 1975||Twickenham, London||20 – 27||France||1975 Five Nations Championship|
|49||2 March 1974||Parc des Princes, Paris||12 – 12||draw||1974 Five Nations Championship|
|48||24 February 1973||Twickenham, London||14 – 6||England||1973 Five Nations Championship|
|47||26 February 1972||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||37 – 12||France||1972 Five Nations Championship|
|46||27 February 1971||Twickenham, London||14 – 14||draw||1971 Five Nations Championship|
|45||18 April 1970||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||35 – 13||France||1970 Five Nations Championship|
|44||22 February 1969||Twickenham, London||22 – 8||England||1969 Five Nations Championship|
|43||24 February 1968||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||14 – 9||France||1968 Five Nations Championship|
|42||25 February 1967||Twickenham, London||12 – 16||France||1967 Five Nations Championship|
|41||26 February 1966||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||13 – 0||France||1966 Five Nations Championship|
|40||27 February 1965||Twickenham, London||9 – 6||England||1965 Five Nations Championship|
|39||22 February 1964||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||3 – 6||England||1964 Five Nations Championship|
|38||23 February 1963||Twickenham, London||6 – 5||England||1963 Five Nations Championship|
|37||24 February 1962||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||13 – 0||France||1962 Five Nations Championship|
|36||25 February 1961||Twickenham, London||5 – 5||draw||1961 Five Nations Championship|
|35||27 February 1960||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||3 – 3||draw||1960 Five Nations Championship|
|34||28 February 1959||Twickenham, London||3 – 3||draw||1959 Five Nations Championship|
|33||1 March 1958||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||0 – 14||England||1958 Five Nations Championship|
|32||23 February 1957||Twickenham, London||9 – 5||England||1957 Five Nations Championship|
|31||14 April 1956||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||14 – 9||France||1956 Five Nations Championship|
|30||26 February 1955||Twickenham, London||9 – 16||France||1955 Five Nations Championship|
|29||10 April 1954||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||11 – 3||France||1954 Five Nations Championship|
|28||28 February 1953||Twickenham, London||11 – 0||England||1953 Five Nations Championship|
|27||5 April 1952||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||3 – 6||England||1952 Five Nations Championship|
|26||24 February 1951||Twickenham, London||3 – 11||France||1951 Five Nations Championship|
|25||25 February 1950||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||6 – 3||France||1950 Five Nations Championship|
|24||26 February 1949||Twickenham, London||8 – 3||England||1949 Five Nations Championship|
|23||29 March 1948||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||15 – 0||France||1948 Five Nations Championship|
|22||19 April 1947||Twickenham, London||6 – 3||England||1947 Five Nations Championship|
|21||6 April 1931||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||14 – 13||France||1931 Five Nations Championship|
|20||22 February 1930||Twickenham, London||11 – 5||England||1930 Five Nations Championship|
|19||1 April 1929||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||6 – 16||England||1929 Five Nations Championship|
|18||25 February 1928||Twickenham, London||18 – 8||England||1928 Five Nations Championship|
|17||2 April 1927||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||3 – 0||France||1927 Five Nations Championship|
|16||27 February 1926||Twickenham, London||11 – 0||England||1926 Five Nations Championship|
|15||13 April 1925||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||11 – 13||England||1925 Five Nations Championship|
|14||23 February 1924||Twickenham, London||19 – 7||England||1924 Five Nations Championship|
|13||2 April 1923||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||3 – 12||England||1923 Five Nations Championship|
|12||25 February 1922||Twickenham, London||11 – 11||draw||1922 Five Nations Championship|
|11||28 March 1921||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||6 – 10||England||1921 Five Nations Championship|
|10||31 January 1920||Twickenham, London||8 – 3||England||1920 Five Nations Championship|
|9||13 April 1914||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||13 – 39||England||1914 Five Nations Championship|
|8||25 January 1913||Twickenham, London||20 – 0||England||1913 Five Nations Championship|
|7||8 April 1912||Parc des Princes, Paris||8 – 18||England||1912 Five Nations Championship|
|6||28 January 1911||Twickenham, London||37 – 0||England||1911 Five Nations Championship|
|5||3 March 1910||Parc des Princes, Paris||3 – 11||England||1910 Five Nations Championship|
|4||30 January 1909||Welford Road, Leicester||22 – 0||England|
|3||1 January 1908||Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes||0 – 19||England|
|2||5 January 1907||Athletic Ground, Richmond London||41 – 13||England|
|1||22 March 1906||Parc des Princes, Paris||8 – 35||England|
In the World Cup, the teams have played on five occasions, with England winning three and France two; there have been no draws. In these games, England have scored 78 points, and France 64.
In the Five Nations (1910–1999), England have played France on 70 occasions, England winning 36, France 27 and seven matches have been drawn. In these games, England have scored 889 points, and France 775.
In the Six Nations (2000–present), England have played France on 16 occasions, England winning ten, France winning six, and no matches have been drawn. In these games, England have scored 360 points, and France 270.
In other test matches, England have played France on nine occasions, England winning six, France winning four, and no matches have been drawn. Overall, England have scored 241 points, and France have 134.
World Cup meetings
1991 World Cup Quarter Final
1995 World Cup Third-Place Play-Off
2003 World Cup Semi Final
England had come into the 2003 World Cup as favourites, but up to the semi final their form was steady rather than spectacular. In the quarter final stages, France beat Ireland convincingly, whilst England stuttered to a victory over Wales. These results meant many thought France could spring a surprise and get to their second successive final.
The weather on the day was heavy rain and torrential winds, which experts believed would fancy the English forward-dominated game, rather than the French free-flowing backs game. Jonny Wilkinson opened the scoring with a drop goal within the first ten minutes, before Serge Betsen scored a try after stealing a lineout. The try was converted by Frederick Michalak.
The game soon swung back in England's favour, when French winger Christophe Dominici was sin-binned for a deliberate trip on Jason Robinson. Wilkinson added another nine points before half time, to give England a 12–7 lead.
England continued to dominate in the second half, helped by an out of sorts Michalak missing his third penalty. Betsen became the second French player to get sin binned after a late challenge on Wilkinson, who converted the subsequent penalty. Shortly after Wilkinson made it a hat trick of drop goals. England wrapped up the game with another two penalties from Jonny Wilkinson and a final score of 24–7.
The win put England into their first final since the 1991 World Cup, where they would play the same opponents Australia on their home ground. Afterwards, French captain, Fabien Galthie conceded that "England adapted to the weather better than us", whilst his English counterpart Martin Johnson said "we needed passion and it was a great display".
2007 World Cup Semi Final
Before the 2007 World Cup began, both defending champions England and last time semi finalists France were considered outsiders to win the tournament. England had stuttered through the group stages, losing 36–0 to South Africa but ended up second in the group. In the quarter finals, England caused a major upset by beating arch-rivals Australia 12–10, despite many pundits writing off their chances before the game.
France also qualified a disappointing second from their group, after losing to Argentina. The French were also underdogs for their quarter final against pre-tournament favourites New Zealand. France ended up winning thanks to a disputed winning try by Yannick Jauzion.
Despite beating the Wallabies, the English were still heavily tipped to lose, mainly because the French were expected to challenge more upfront. Five victories in the last six matches also meant that recent track record was in favour of France. England had not won in Paris since 2000. The game began 21:00 local time and within two minutes a box kick by English scrumhalf Andy Gomarsall was not dealt with by French full-back Damien Traille and Josh Lewsey capitalized with a try. Jonny Wilkinson missed the conversion to the left. Two penalties before half time by Lionel Beauxis gave the French a slender advantage.
Shortly after half time, Beauxis scored his third penalty to give France a 9–5 advantage. Minutes later, Wilkinson scored his first successful kick of the game to bring it back to one point. Wilkinson could have given England the lead, but his drop goal could only hit the upright. France also had a chance to score, when Vincent Clerc looked certain to score a try; however a last-ditch tap tackle by Joe Worsley prevented him from crossing the try line and kept England in the match.
In the 75th minute, Wilkinson slotted in a penalty to give England the lead. Only three minutes later he scored another three points, this time through a drop goal, to give England a 14–9 lead, with only two minutes left. Despite heavy pressure from the French, England managed to hold on.
After the game, England's manager Brian Ashton commented, "these guys won't give up. People talk about a British bulldog spirit and it is very much here in this group". The England captain, Phil Vickery also praised the team by saying, "to beat France, in France, in a World Cup semi-final is a huge effort from everyone". The French manager Bernard Laporte rued the missed try opportunity, noting "if we had scored that try we would have won the match, but we didn't".
2011 World Cup Quarter Final
France had many difficulties during the pool stage. Indeed, the team of Marc Lièvremont, lost two matches, against New-Zealand and Tonga. So England was probably the best team before the beginning of the match. But rugby as a sport is very difficult to predict, and what happened on the field this day was unexpected. The first half was very difficult for England. France played very well and we did not see that since 2010 and the gran slam during the 6 nations. Dimitri Yachvili scored two penalties and Vincent Clerc scored the first try after many tackles failed by the English (22e). Dimitri Yachvili did not convert the try and France led 11 points to none. But it was not the half time and Maxime Médard scored a new try (30e). At the break, France led by 16 points to none because Yachvili failed, again, the conversion. The first half was very difficult for England.
But the second was totally different from the first one. The men of Martin Johnson came back on the field this a different spirit. Indeed, Ben Foden scored the first points for England with a try (54e), converted by Jonny Wilkinson for his last match with England. This conversion was his last points for his country. The French team did not play has they did during the first part of the match and they scored only three points by a drop goal of François Trinh-Duc (73e). Mark Cueto scored, at last, a try (76e) but it was too late, the difference was too important this night between the two rivals team. As a symbol, Wilkinson failed the conversion, and France won the quarter-final by 19 points to 12.
- The Irish Times, May 27, 1981, page 27.