Wales v France In Years Ending With An Eight

Years ending in the number eight figure eerily, and notably, in the history of matches between Wales and France.

In 1908, on March 2, Wales and France met for the very first time, in Cardiff, with Wales winning 36-4.

It was only the fifth international match ever played by France.

In 1928, on April 9, France recorded their first win over Wales, at Stade Colombes, until recently the home of the Racing 92 club.

Home wing Robert Houdet (pictured above) scored two tries, and a conversion, to give France an 8-3 win.

In 1948 France gained their first victory on Welsh soil when they beat Wales 11-3 in Swansea, at St Helens.

Ten years later, in 1958, on March 29, France beat Wales 16-6, it was their first ever win at Cardiff Arms Park.

The Welsh team was captained by Clem Thomas, and fly half, Cliff Morgan played his last international match for Wales.

France captain Lucian Mias and his team left the field to a standing ovation from the Welsh crowd.

If we fast forward another ten years to 1968, France won their first Grand Slam in the mud and rain of Cardiff Arms Park.

The Camberabero brothers, at half back, masterminded the French victory, with a team that included Christian Carrere, and Walter Spanghero.

1978 saw the fortunes change in Wales’ favour, when a 16-7 win for Wales, gave them the Grand Slam.

It was the final international appearance of two of the worlds greats, Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett.

Bennett signed off with two tries, whilst Edwards signed off with a towering drop goal.

France’s one point victory, at Cardiff, in 1988 (10-9) deprived Wales of a Grand Slam, and as a result the 5 Nations title was shared between the two teams.

Wales came back with a late Ieuan Evans try and a Paul Thorburn conversion, but they just came up short in appalling Welsh weather.

France gave Wales a 51-0 thrashing at Wembley Stadium, in 1998.

The match was played at the twin towers whilst the millennium stadium was being built.

72,000 spectators saw Castaignede and co run riot, scoring seven tries to earn another Grand Slam.



Its hard to believe that ten years have passed since that match, in 2008, when Wales, on the last day of the tournament, won their second Grand Slam in three years.

Having been knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by Fiji, just months earlier, it was most unexpected, and after leading 9-6 at half time, Wales scored two second tries through Shane and Martin Williams, to give them a comfortable 29-12 lead that they never relinquished.

So what will 2018 bring ?


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