February 15 down the years
England triumph as angry French see red
England lock Martin Bayfield lies prone after being stamped on in Paris © Getty Images
Even by their fiery standards the France lost their heads in style as they went down 31-13 to England in Paris. As Gallic tempers flared the French conceded a penalty try and have two of their front-row sent off by referee Steve Hilditch of Ireland. Just months after a tempestuous World Cup quarter-final Gregoire Lascube saw red for kicking Martin Bayfield and was followed to the bench by Vincent Moscato, whose performance was a barely contained frenzy. It was brilliant planning and self-discipline from England who legally goaded the French into losing their collective cools. Moscato never played for France again; Dewi Morris and Rory Underwood tries ensured a miserable farewell.
England set a then all-time Five Nations record winning margin, beating Ireland 46-6 in Dublin. Wingers Tony Underwood and Jon Sleightholme both finished the game with a brace each, while Andy Gomarsall and Richard Hill completed a miserable afternoon for Ireland.
Italy opened their Six Nations season with their first win (30-22) against Wales in Rome's Stadio Flaminio. The defeat was the lowest ebb of a terrible season for the Welsh who were whitewashed and claimed the Wooden Spoon. Shane Williams, Dwayne Peel and Tom Shanklin scored tries for the visitors but they were unable to stop Diego Dominguez from steering the Azzurri home. The fly-half kicked 15 points, including two drop goals and the conversions to tries by Giampiero de Carli, Carlo Festuccia and No.8 Matthew Phillips.
England and Ireland met in an international match for the first time. England won by a converted try, a try and a dropped goal to nil (before the introduction of scoring by points) at The Oval.
Wales beat England for the first time. Bill Stadden scored the only try (worth one point at the time) in their 1-0 win at Dewsbury.
The end of the international road for Steve Fenwick and JPR Williams who were among nine changes from the Welsh side which lost in Edinburgh a week earlier. Jeff Squire, replaced as skipper at the start of the year by Fenwick, was reinstated. Fenwick said he was "heartbroken" while Williams said he did not deserve the axe. Chairman of selectors Keith: Rowlands said : ''Dropping them was a very difficult and emotional decision as both players 'have given so many years of fine service.
A Welsh team of all the talents registered its sixth successive Cardiff win against England, running in three tries in a 20-4 victory. Steve Fenwick, JJ Williams and Gerald Davies added the stardust with tries.
Bristol's Alan Morley crossed for his 313th try for the club in their fixture with the Royal Navy. He thus became the then world record holder for most tries for one club, passing the mark set by Andy Hill for Llanelli.
In his third Test match, Gavin Hastings kicked 21 points, a new Scotland record for a Test, as the Scots massacred England 33-6 at Murrayfield - their highest score and biggest winning margin for the series.