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Retrospective: England and France's World Cup history

As England and France prepare to battle for a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, we look back at their previous meetings on the biggest stage.

Image: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

1991 – England 19 France 10 (Quarter-Final)

WILL CARLING AND company dispatched the hosts at the quarter-final stage in 1991, in what was described by pundit Brian Moore as the most physical game he had ever been involved in.

Les Bleus were disposed of through a combination of tries from Carling and Rory Underwood, with Jonathan Webb kicking the remainder of the points.

France’s points came via a Jean-Baptiste Lafond try and two Thierry Lacroix penalties but the Parc des Princes gathering was silenced, England going on to beat Scotland in the semi-final before the losing the final to Australia.

1995 – England 9 France 19 (Third Place Play-Off)

Having been dismantled by a New Zealand side inspired by Jonah Lomu in the semi-finals, the last thing Jack Rowell’s side will have been forgiven for just wanting to go home and have a good cry.

Instead they had their backsides handed to them by France, for whom Olivier Roumat and Emile Ntamack scored tries. The rest of the damage was done by Lacroix, with Rob Andrew kicking England three sad little penalties.

2003 – England 24 France 7 (Semi-Final)

The Telstra Stadium in Sydney was the venue as Jonny Wilkinson’s cosummate kicking performance saw Clive Woodward’s England through to another World Cup Final against Australia.

The fly-half scored every one of his side’s points – five penalties and three drop goals – with France’s only score coming when Serge Betsen went over in the tenth minute.

Conditions were appalling and France just could not adapt, with both Betsen and Christophe Dominici sin-binned for petulant challenges.

Better was to follow for both England and Wilkinson, of course, whose late drop goal over the Aussies sealed a tournament victory for England.

2007 – England 14 France 9 (Semi-Final)

Wilkinson – a man whose career outside of World Cups has so often been blighted by injury – once again played a pivotal role in getting his country to a World Cup Final by kicking two penalties and a brilliant drop goal in this last four clash.

England had taken the lead in the second minute when Josh Lewsey scored a try, making the most of a mistake by the normally unflappable Damien Traille.

England actually trailed for much of the game to three Lionel Beauxis penalties until Wilkinson’s late show secured a date with South Africa. The Springboks would deny England a second World Cup in a row, however.

Four other classic Ireland v Wales meetings >

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