NatWest 6 Nations Flashbacks: France v England

Anthony Watson scores their third try 19/3/2016
England travel to Stade de France in round 4 of the NatWest 6 Nations looking to reignite their title hopes with a victory.

England travel to Stade de France in round 4 of the NatWest 6 Nations looking to reignite their title hopes with a victory.

The defending champions face a French team that recorded their first win of the Championship last time out against Italy.

The two teams have had some juicy encounters over the years, with some extremely tight affairs and tries galore.   Click here for the complete 2018 NatWest 6 Nations fixtures and table

2016 – France 21-31 England In the final match of the 2016 Championship, England clinched their first Grand Slam in 13 years with victory in Paris.

In Eddie Jones’ first Championship as England head coach, he led his players through an unbeaten campaign to dispel the woes from the previous year’s Rugby World Cup.

After the first three rounds of the Championship, France were also undefeated and were eyeing up the title before Scotland triumphed 29-18 at BT Murrayfield to end Guy Novès’ hopes of a Grand Slam.

So France were set on ruining England’s party in the last round, only to be well-beaten by a hungry English side.

First-half tries from Danny Care and Dan Cole had given them a five-point half-time lead, only for the relentless penalty precision of Maxime Machenaud to keep France within touching distance.

But a third try in three matches from Anthony Watson calmed rising nerves before a brace of late penalties from Owen Farrell allowed the travelling support to sing their heroes home.

France ended the Championship in second place while England won the Grand Slam for the first time since 2003.   2014 – France 26-24 England In an exhilarating Championship opener, France clinched a dramatic late win in a ding-dong battle at the Stade de France.

England were on for a great comeback after clawing their way back from 16-3 down to 16-21 up with just over 20 minutes to go, but fell to a last gasp score from French centre Gael Fickou.

Mike Brown’s first Test try and another for debutant Luther Burrell came amid the 18 unanswered points as early French dominance gave way to English ascendancy deep into the second half.

France conjured up one final attack to send the Stade de France into glorious uproar and hand England only their third Six Nations defeat of Stuart Lancaster’s tenure.

Yannick Nyanga made a break down the left and spread the ball wide to Dimitri Szarzewski, who found fellow replacement Fickou to race inside Alex Goode and around behind the posts.

The crowd held their breath as Machenaud stepped up to the tee to convert, but the Stade de France erupted when the ball sailed through the posts for victory.   2010 – France 12-10 England A narrow triumph in Paris secured France their first Grand Slam in six years and their last one to date.

England had won three straight Championship matches against their Gallic rivals and were returning to the scene of their 2007 World Cup semi-final victory over the tournament hosts.

Martin Johnson’s men had started their campaign well, beating Wales and Italy in the first two rounds, but a defeat to Ireland and a draw against the Scots curtailed their hopes of a title.

Whereas France were hosting the English on the final day having gone unbeaten against all four other nations, including a 33-10 victory over defending champions Ireland.

The visitors started in the perfect way, with full-back Ben Foden crossing the whitewash in the sixth minute to open the scoring.

But Francois Trinh-Duc responded with a drop-goal and another French boot was to eventually seal the win.

Morgan Parra’s composure from the tee saw him nail three penalties to take the lead, and the French hold on strong in a tough battle to see out the victory and claim the Grand Slam.