France v Wales conjures up special memories for rugby union fans with their clashes often determining the destination of bragging rights in Europe.
Ahead of Saturday’s World Cup semi final, take a nostalgic trip through the years and relive some of the classic encounters
1977 PARIS: FRANCE 16 WALES 9
France kicked off a season that would end with only their second Grand Slam in what was then the Five Nations by overturning a 6-3 half-time deficit. Flanker Jean-Claude Skrela scored a try off the back of a scrum before full-back Jean-Michel Aguirre’s darting run set up a try for wing Dominique Harize.
1978 CARDIFF: WALES 16 FRANCE 7
Wales turned the tables to complete a Grand Slam in what was the last international appearance for legendary half-backs Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett. France led 7-0 after a Skrela try before Bennett drew Wales level for a try he converted himself. JJ Williams then just managed to lob the ball infield before going into touch as he provided the pass for Bennett’s second try. Wales centre Steve Fenwick scored the only points of the second half with a late drop-goal.
1986 CARDIFF: WALES 15 FRANCE 23
Several great French backs scored tries in a match where all of Wales’s points came courtesy if the boot of full-back Paul Thorburn. France were only 11-9 up at half-time after wing Jean-Baptiste Lafond had scored two tries. But early in the second half Philippe Sella, widely acclaimed as one of the best centres of all-time went over for a try, before brilliant full-back Serge Blanco sealed victory with a try eight minutes from time.
2005 PARIS: FRANCE 18 WALES 24
Wales were all but beaten at half-time with France 15-6 up but two tries from flanker Martyn Williams early in the second half sparked a Welsh revival for a win that would form part of their first Grand Slam for 27 years. Tries from scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili and Aurelien Rougerie, both playing at Eden Park on Saturday, put France on top. Williams though gave Wales an early second-half lifeline and no sooner had France kicked off than the Welsh powered forward for Williams’s second score. Stephen Jones’s late penalty and drop-goal sealed a stunning victory.
2011 PARIS: FRANCE 28 WALES 9
The last meeting between the two sides saw France rebound from the “shame” of their shock loss to Italy the previous week with a convincing win where all the points came from players who will be involved at Eden Park. France blindside flanker Lionel Nallet scored two tries – the first from a turnover, the second from a charged down James Hook kick – and wing Vincent Clerc another. Hook, then as now Wales’s fly-half, landed three penalties.