February 24 down the years
When Prat sunk England
Jean Prat converts France's first try from the hold of team-mate Andre Alvarez, England v France, Twickenham, February 24, 1951
Jean Prat converts France's first try as Andre Alvarez steadies the ball during their first win at Twickenham in 1951 © Getty Images

France win at Twickenham for the first time, Jean Prat scoring eight points in an 11-3 victory in the mud. Since their first visit in 1911 the best they had managed was a draw in 1922, but there was not a full house to see it. A railway strike kept the crowd down to 50,000. The result left England at the bottom of the table, winless after three matches, although they avoided the wooden spoon with a 5-3 win over Scotland.

England's left wing David Duckham scored two first-half tries in an unexpected 14-6 victory against France at Twickenham. Duckham had scored four tries in his first seven internationals but these were his first in 15 matches since then.

Italy provide a sensational start to their Six Nations match against Scotland, running in three tries in the first six minutes on their way to a 37-17 win at Murrayfield, their first away success in the Championship. Italy led 21-0 at the break, and despite a slightly improved second-half display, Scotland were well beaten. "The dressing room was shell-shocked,' Frank Hadden, the Scotland head coach, admitted afterwards. "I take full responsibility for asking them to play at a fast tempo at the beginning of the match to try and slow down Italy's rush defence. You have to chip and such like, but our execution went pear- shaped."

New Zealand lose on French soil for the first time, succumbing 11-8 to a South-West Selection at Bordeaux in front of 15,000 spectators.

More than 25,000 turn out at Parc des Princes to watch the British Army beat their French counterparts 36-3. All 15 of the England players were pre-war internationals while the French, who largely had not touched a rugby ball since the previous year, were chosen from front-line soldiers.

Fullback Bob Hiller, who had scored 138 of England's 199 points in his 19 internationals, announced his retirement at the age of 29 after being dropped by the selectors. He had intended to quit at the end of the season and said he saw no point remaining on the fringe of the side.

The new 4000-seater grandstand at St Helen's was officially opened prior to the Wales-France Five Nations match. Wales come from behind to win 16-8 in front of a record Swansea crowd of 40,000.

History is made in Bordeaux where the All Blacks lost in France for the first time, going down 11-8 to a South-West Selection in front of 15,000 spectators.

Michel Crauste became the first forward to score a try hat-trick in a Five Nations match, crossing for France in their 13-0 win against England in Paris.

© Scrum.com

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