The French recently comprehensively beat the mighty All Blacks 29-13 at the Rugby World Cup tournament opener at the Stade de France. The Les Bleus look to a promising immediate future for French Rugby. Here is a list of the best days the French have had at the Six Nations at their home venue:
1998: England 24–17 France
Les Bleus won on the stadium’s first night, defeating England en way to clinching back-to-back Grand Slams.
Philippe Bernat-Salles earned the honour of scoring the stadium’s first try after just 11 minutes, drawing a crowd of just over 77,000 spectators to Saint-Denis.
It served as the foundation for a victorious homecoming as another try from Christophe Dominici, the boot of Christophe Lamaison, drop goals from Thomas Castaignède and Jean-Luc Sadourny, and a drop goal from Jean-Luc Sadourny beat four penalties from Paul Grayson and a try from Neil Back for the visitors.
2002: England 20–15 France
Two years later, England had their comeuppance when five Jonny Wilkinson penalties helped them win their opening match at the Stade de France and advance to the Championship.
Nevertheless, France won 20-15 in Le Crunch, a more convincing triumph than the final score would indicate. It is best known for Serge Betsen’s continuous pursuit of Wilkinson, which left the fly-half with no time to exert his usual control over the game against France.
With tries from Gérald Merceron and Imanol Harinordoquy, Les Bleus sprinted to a 17-0 lead in the first 20 minutes before Jason Robinson’s outstanding solo try kept England in the game.
However, France was ultimately in charge and widened its lead to 20-10 before a last-second touchdown from Ben Cohen sweetened the score for the visitors.
This victory over England preserved the possibility of a Grand Slam for the first time since the Stade de France’s debut match in 1998.
2002: France beats Ireland 44-5
Their fantasy came four weeks later as France defeated Ireland 44-5 to win the first Grand Slam of the Six Nations period.
With seeming ease, Les Bleus defeated Ireland in a record-setting triumph and completed their third Grand Slam in six years thanks to two tries each from Serge Betsen and Nicolas Brusque.
A Keith Wood try was the lone Irish point on the scoreboard as Aurélien Rougerie scored the other shot, and Merceron’s boot continued to expand the margin of victory.
Rarely do players get the chance to win a Grand Slam at home, and even less frequently do they seize that chance with the same panache as France did in 2002.
2004: England 24-21 France
A Grand Slam on home soil is a rare opportunity, but it would provide itself to France two years after their previous one.
This time, the opposition was the world champions England, who were still in the running for the Championship despite the visitors’ earlier loss to Ireland.
Even though the outcome was not as clear-cut as it had been two years prior, a Grand Slam party still broke out in Paris.
In a repeat of what happened two years prior, France jumped out to an early lead and led 21-3 at the interval thanks to a try from Harinordoquy and Dimitri Yachvili’s 19-point performance, which included a shot of his own before the break.
Ben Cohen led England’s comeback effort before Josh Lewsey scored with four minutes left to play, but the hosts held on to make it a memorable evening.
2010: France defeated Ireland 33-10
It would take another six years for Les Bleus to sweep all before them again after four Grand Slams in eight years.
Although Morgan Parra and François Trinh-Duc booted to a 12-10 victory against England at the Stade de France, the 33-10 victory against Ireland a few weeks previously was perhaps more critical.
Ireland had only ever won once at the Stade de France, a 27-25 victory in 2000, but they appeared well-positioned to change that a decade later.
Declan Kidney’s team, led by players like Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara, came in as the defending Grand Slam champions. Still, France’s overwhelming performance destroyed Ireland’s chances of winning back-to-back Slams and sparked their ambitions.
William Servat and Yannick Jauzion’s scores in the first half gave the hosts the upper hand, and on the hour, despite David Wallace’s try for Ireland, Clément Poitrenaud’s third put the outcome beyond question.
2017: Wales 20–18 France
Rugby games are not supposed to last 100 minutes, but France used all the time to defeat Wales in a spectacular victory.
Les Bleus had not defeated Warren Gatland’s team since they stunned Wales in the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final over six years ago.
Wales had been in the lead ever since, completing their own Grand Slam in 2012, but France ultimately triumphed after a protracted losing streak in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Rémi Lamerat’s early touchdown gave the hosts the perfect start, but Leigh Halfpenny’s accuracy from the tee kept Wales in the game and helped them gain a five-point advantage as time ran out.
2022: France beats England 25-13
The 12-year wait for the next Grand Slam must have seemed like an eternity to French fans if they thought the six years between the Grand Slams in 2004 and 2010 were long.
The proverb says that absence makes the heart grow much fonder, and at the Stade de France in 2022, Les Bleus produced an impressive victory over England to clinch their eleventh Slam; there was evidence of that.
Before François Cros scored just before halftime to put Fabien Galthié’s team in the lead, Gal Fickou’s try in the 14th minute was the ideal approach to calm any nerves in Paris.
A second-half Freddie Steward attempt momentarily raised thoughts of England ruining the party.
England have a dream start to the Six Nations
The five rounds of rugby’s premier annual international Championship, the Guinness Six Nations, will begin on Friday, February 2, with France hosting Ireland, according to the 2024 Guinness Six Nations schedule, which has been finalised.
Fans eagerly await the resumption of the Guinness Six Nations, which holds a particular place in the athletic calendar. The 2023 Championship is now in progress, so supporters may start anticipating its return the following year with a schedule of fixtures that promise drama, top-notch sporting entertainment, and unforgettable experiences for fans around the globe.
Thanks to its thorough television coverage, over 119 million people watched the 2022 Guinness Six Nations live.
To give fans the finest access to all the action, Six Nations Rugby is dedicated to doing so. In 2024, host broadcast relationships will bring fans to the Championship.
BBC and ITV will cover the UK event, with S4C providing Welsh language alternatives. For French viewers, the Championship will be shown on France Television, while RTE and Virgin Media will once more broadcast the Irish games. The broadcast schedule for the Championship in Italy will soon be determined. Broadcast coverage from around the world and a World Feed service will be added to the host broadcast coverage.
Ben Morel, CEO of Six Nations Rugby, commented on the Guinness Six Nations matchups for 2024.
“The drama, intriguing stories, and rivalries that play out across five must-see rounds of matches are a constant of the Guinness Six Nations. This is what fuels the unbridled enthusiasm fans have for this outstanding Championship.
“Every year, when the schedule is announced, we witness it. Fans, members of the media, and athletes discuss the contests, the rivalries, and the outcomes. It is beautiful to assist fans in anticipating what 2024 will bring because of our extensive broadcast relationships and coverage, which allow us to convey every moment of the Championship to fans worldwide.
The following venues will host the 2024 Six Nations beginning on the 2nd of February next year:
EDINBURGH’S MURRAYFIELD STADIUM
Buy tickets on seatsnet.com for Murrayfield, an all-seated stadium with a capacity of more than 67,000 people in the western part of Edinburgh. Scotland’s largest stadium serves as the Scottish Rugby Union’s home field. Although it is primarily a rugby stadium, it also occasionally holds football games and music concerts.
Dublin’s AVIVA Stadium
This stadium has been upgraded and can accommodate roughly 52,000 people. The stadium has four tiers on three sides and is shaped like a bowl. The fourth side only contains the lower tier because it is close to nearby residences. Corporate boxes comprise the fourth layer; the lower ones are for various ticket tiers, which you can buy tickets on seatsnet.com.
London’s TWICKENHAM STADIUM
Twickenham is the fourth-largest stadium in Europe, with an 82,000-person capacity. It is called the Rugby Union’s “home” on occasion. Twickenham is the host site for several other national and international matches and the Six Nations competition. You can buy tickets on seatsnet.com for the upcoming Six Nations tournament.
OLIMPICO STADIO, ROME
The stadium, which is the biggest sports complex in the city of Rome, is situated in the north. In addition to rugby and football activities, it also serves as a multi purpose venue for musical concerts. Despite having a capacity of over 70,000, when the 1960 Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies were held there, only 65,000 people could fit in since some of the seating had to be removed to make room for more spectators on the ground.
CARDIFF’S PRINCIPALITY STADIUM
This stadium, which is in Cardiff, was first constructed to hold the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Wembley Stadium hosted several illustrious football games while it was being rebuilt. Over 74,000 spectators may fit inside this stadium’s all-seat configuration, which features a retractable roof.
Paris STADE DE FRANCE
Its capacity of nearly 81,000 makes it the sixth-largest stadium in Europe and the national stadium of France. It is unique in that every seat is covered, a choice made in 1992 when the idea for the structure was devised. It hosts sporting events and musical performances like most stadiums do, and you can buy tickets on seatsnet.com for the Six Nations extravaganza happening soon.
- Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund: preview, team news, how to watch and prediction
- Ollie Watkins doubtful ahead of Aston Villa clash v Bournemouth
- Chris Sutton predicts score of Aston Villa clash v Bournemouth
- West Ham keen on Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson
- Ed Aarons: Newcastle keen to sign Serhou Guirassy in January