France v Ireland, Six Nations Championship, February 13
Revenge on the menu for France
John Griffiths
February 8, 2010
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland breaks clear of the tackle of Lionel Beauxis of France to score his team's second try. Ireland v France, Six Nations, Croke Park, Feb 7 2009
Brian O'Driscoll scored his eighth try against France last season © Getty Images

The nations meet for the 86th time since 1909 in a major Test on Saturday, with France smarting after defeat to Ireland last season at Croke Park.

France won 20-17 through a late Vincent Clerc try there in 2007 but Jamie Heaslip inspired Ireland to victory in the first leg of last season's Grand Slam.

During the popular series of "Victory" internationals in 1946, France beat an Irish XV 4-3 in Dublin. Only France count that match as part of their Test record.

France head the series by 51 wins to 29 and the last of the five drawn matches was in 1985. France have won seven of their eight most recent encounters, including the Rugby World Cup matches of 2003 (in Melbourne) and 2007 (Paris).

France holds the record for the highest score of the series. They won 45-10 in Paris in 1996. The record winning margin, also held by France, was set in their 44-5 Paris victory in 2002.

Ireland's highest score came in their 31-43 defeat at the Stade de France in 2006 - an extraordinary game in which the Irish trailed 43-3 early in the second half before scoring 28 late points without reply. Ireland's best win was in the early years of the fixture - 24-0 in Cork in 1913.

Thierry Lacroix, with 26 points for France at Durban in the 1995 Rugby World Cup quarter-final involving the countries, holds the record for most points scored in a match.

There have been five try hat-tricks in the series, two by Ireland and three by France. Joe Quinn scored three tries for Ireland in 1913 and Brian O'Driscoll did so in 2000. France's first hat-trick was scored by their left-wing Christian Darrouy in Dublin in 1963, David Venditti repeated the feat in Dublin in 1997 and Vincent Clerc did so in Paris in 2008.

Darrouy heads the list of try scorers for the overall series, crossing eight times. O'Driscoll is the leading Irish try scorer with eight to date.

Irishmen hold the other major records for the matches: Ronan O'Gara has scored 104 overall points (compared with 50 for France by Didier Camberabero), and Willie-John McBride and Fergus Slattery each played 15 times in this fixture. Philippe Sella appeared 13 times for France.

Ireland-France results in the Six Nations:
2000 Ireland 27-25 (Paris)
2001 Ireland 22-15 (Dublin)
2002 France 44-5 (Paris)
2003 Ireland 15-12 (Dublin)
2004 France 35-17 (Paris)
2005 France 26-19 (Dublin)
2006 France 43-31 (Paris)
2007 France 20-17 (Dublin)
2008 France 26-21 (Paris)
2009 Ireland 30-21 (Dublin)

  • Click here for Ireland's complete Test record in Statsguru

  • Click here for France's complete Test record in Statsguru

  • Click here to play Scrum Fantasy Rugby 2010, in partnership with Cisco

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