February 11 down the years
Freezing temperatures lead to French farce
A France fan rips up his match ticket after his side's 2012 Six Nations clash with Ireland was cancelled 10 minutes before kick off © Getty Images
The Six Nations descended into farce when France's clash with Ireland at the Stade de France in Paris was cancelled just 10 minutes before kick-off due to a frozen pitch. Referee Dave Pearson made his decision after deeming sections of the pitch to be unplayable following days of sub-zero temperatures in Paris. The surface passed an inspection at 3pm the day before and 6.30pm that night, but Pearson felt the conditions then deteriorated sufficiently enough to postpone the game. It was the first time a Championship match had fallen victim to freezing temperatures since 1987. Earlier in the day, snow had to be cleared from the Stadio Olimpico pitch in Rome ahead of Italy's clash with England with the elements and resulting traffic chaos denying the hosts a capacity crowd on the occasion of their first game at the stadium.
In England's last official Twickenham international before World War Two Ireland surprised their hosts and won 5-0 through a Sinclair Irwin try converted by Harry McKibbin. The Daily Worker commented unflatteringly about the repeated instances of punches being thrown showing a poor example to those brought up to believe the game fostered self restraint.
Croke Park in Dublin opened its gates to rugby union for the first time while Lansdowne Road was closed for refurbishment. France won a thriller 20-17 thanks to a last-gasp try by Vincent Clerc. Owned by the Gaelic Athletics Association, rugby and football had previously been banned from Ireland's largest arena in an attempt to protect indigenous Irish sports. This stance was temporarily relaxed in 2006 and it was fly-half Ronan O'Gara who scored Ireland's first try at the ground, following up from an earlier effort by France's Raphael Ibanez.
Cork staged its first international match. England, after a tiring journey by third-class railway carriage, crashed 17-3 at the Mardyke ground. Ireland's Basil Maclear - Portsmouth-born, Bedford-educated but rejected by England as "not good enough" - enjoyed an outstanding Test debut.
Tom Smyth, returning captain of the 1910 Lions in South Africa, crossed for the only score of an exciting match at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, Ireland beating England 3-0 in perfect conditions.
An inexperienced England side (with eight players winning only their second caps) took apart a poor Irish side, winning 20-0 - a staggering margin at the time - in cold conditions at Twickenham. England scored three tries, one going to the unconventional but brilliant wing Peter Jackson
Skipper Arthur Smith's try is the only score of Scotland's 3-0 Murrayfield win against Wales. The same afternoon Budge Rogers made his England Test debut in an 11-8 defeat by Ireland in Dublin, where scrum-half Jonathan Moffett kicked eight points.
France beat Australia 20-14 in Paris in a match that was a triumph for the Camberabero brothers. The diminutive French half-backs scored all their side's points. Scrum-half Lilian scored the only try, with fly-half Guy landing four penalties, a conversion and a drop-goal.