November 6 down the years
Eales leads Wallabies to World Cup
John Eales leads the celebrations with his victorious Wallaby side, France v Australia, World Cup final, Millennium Stadium, November 6 1999.
Australia won the Rugby World Cup on this day in 1999 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: John Eales | Kameli Ratuvou
Teams: Australia | Fiji | France | Wales

Australia won the Rugby World Cup for the second time, beating France 35-12 in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. John Eales led the Wallabies in to the final, having packed down in the second-row for them as they lifted the trophy in 1991. France predictably struggled to emulate their thrilling form of the semi-final win over the All Blacks and were forced to settle from four penalties from the boot of fly-half Christophe Lamaison. French indiscipline, and a fussy display by referee Andre Watson, also allowed the Wallabies to take a strangle hold on the scoreboard. Fullback Matt Burke was the man to punish the French, with seven penalties. Flanker Owen Finegan and wing Ben Tune score tries for the Wallabies, who kept a clean sheet in defence and conceded only a single try during the tournament. Eales was not impressed with France's on-field conduct however. "'It's disappointing because they are such a good side, they don't need to play like that to be competitive."

Fiji's Kameli Ratuvou was born in Lau. A versatile back with Test caps at wing, centre and fullback, Ratuvou came to prominence with Saracens in the Guinness Premiership and produced prolific try-scoring stats in his first two seasons with the club. He made his international debut for Fiji against their traditional rivals Samoa in 2005 and was a key part of the side that defeated Wales to progress to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in 2007. As well as representing Fiji, he also has six Test caps for the Pacific Islands touring team, and played in their first win, over Italy in ReggioEmilia in 2008.

World champions Australia inflicted a then record defeat of France for a match at Parc des Princes, winning 24-3 under floodlights. No.8 Tim Gavin and fullback Marty Roebuck crossed for Australian tries as the French were restricted to only a single penalty, from the boot of centre Thierry Lacroix. "They were also thrashed all afternoon by the refereeing of Mr Bishop," wrote Stephen Jones in The Times. "The French and the referee have been reading different law books."

Welsh wonder Lewis Jones turned professional, signing for Leeds rugby league for a fee estimated to be in excess of £5,000 - a then record. The 21-year-old had played in two Welsh Grand Slam sides and toured Australia & New Zealand with the 1950 Lions, playing in three Test matches.

The start of the trial of former French captain Marc Cecillon, accused of killing his wife. Cecillon pulled out a gun and shot her five times after she refused to leave a party in August 2004. His defence was that he was so drunk he could remember nothing of the incident, and during the trial it emerged he had become an alcoholic after failing to find life after his rugby career finished. The court was not convinced and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Wallabies, led by prop Bob Davidson, opened their tour of Europe with a confident 29-5 win against the Southern Counties at Hove.

The Wallabies were beaten 16-9 at Limoges by a French Selection comprising players from the French Championship's second division.


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