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Can't buy a win

John GriffithsDecember 5, 2014
England recently lost to South Africa at Twickenham © Getty Images
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I read that England's recent defeat by South Africa marked their longest winless run against any nation. What is - and what was - the record? Ted Mills, UK

The last England win against South Africa was 23-21 at Twickenham in November 2006, shortly before Andy Robinson stood down to be succeeded by Brian Ashton as head coach.

England have recorded twelve winless results against the Springboks since - one draw (14-all in Port Elizabeth in 2012) and eleven defeats. The run includes the 42-6 defeat in November 2008 that still stands as England's heaviest-ever Twickenham Test loss.

The reverse in this year's autumn series overtook the previous winless sequence. Wales were unbeaten in eleven successive matches against England from 1899 to 1909.

That run also included a 14-all draw - at Leicester in 1904, when Wales escaped defeat in the closing minutes with a rare goal from a mark kicked by their full-back, Bert Winfield.

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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