The Stade de France, boasting a massive 80,000+ seating capacity, has been the epicenter of numerous iconic 6 Nations rugby encounters since its inauguration in 1998. This grand stadium is the customary host for France’s thrilling Guinness Six Nations battles, where Les Bleus have achieved four Grand Slam victories and etched their names in rugby history.

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As we eagerly anticipate this Friday, France’s Rugby World Cup campaign opener on their home turf against the formidable New Zealand, it’s essential to reminisce about some of the most unforgettable moments from France’s Guinness Six Nations triumphs at the Stade de France.

In the heart of this magnificent arena, countless thrilling matches have left an indelible mark on the world of Six Nations rugby. The Stade de France has been a witness to passion, skill, and the relentless pursuit of victory. It’s where legends have been born and where the pride of a nation has soared to new heights.

As France gears up to host New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup journey, the Stade de France stands as a symbol of their rugby heritage, a place where dreams and aspirations come to life on the field. So, let’s celebrate the storied history of the Stade de France and the unforgettable moments that make the Guinness Six Nations a rugby spectacle like no other.

In Six Nations 1998, France secured a 24-17 victory over England.

On the night of the stadium’s grand opening in 1998, Les Bleus emerged victorious, setting the stage for consecutive Grand Slam triumphs in the Six Nations. Over 77,000 fervent fans gathered in Saint-Denis to witness Philippe Bernat-Salles make history by scoring the stadium’s inaugural try a mere 11 minutes into the match.

This remarkable feat marked the start of a successful era in their new home, with another try contributed by Christophe Dominici and the precise kicking of Christophe Lamaison, along with crucial drop goals from Thomas Castaignède and Jean-Luc Sadourny. This collective effort overcame England’s Neil Back’s try and four penalties by Paul Grayson, sealing an unforgettable Six Nations victory at the Stade de France.

In 2002, France secured a 20-15 victory over England.

In the year 2000, England sought redemption for their previous loss to France at the Stade de France, and their mission was a successful one. Riding on Jonny Wilkinson’s accurate boot with five penalties, they notched a significant victory on their path to securing the Six Nations Championship.

France, however, answered back with authority in a memorable Le Crunch encounter in Six Nations. They clinched a 20-15 triumph that displayed their dominance, even if the final score didn’t entirely reflect it. This match is chiefly remembered for Serge Betsen’s relentless pursuit of Wilkinson, denying the talented fly-half the opportunity to dictate the proceedings, a role he had often assumed against France.

The opening 20 minutes of the game were electric, with Les Bleus storming to a commanding 17-0 lead, thanks to tries from Gérald Merceron and Imanol Harinordoquy. A brilliant solo try in Six Nations from Jason Robinson kept England in the hunt. Nevertheless, France maintained control and expanded their lead to 20-10 before a last-minute try by Ben Cohen added a touch of luster to the scoreline for the visiting team.

In Six Nations 2002, France convincingly defeated Ireland with a score of 44-5.

Four weeks later, France’s aspirations came to fruition as they powered past Ireland with an emphatic 44-5 victory, making history by clinching the first-ever Grand Slam in the Six Nations era.

This remarkable triumph was marked by stellar performances from Serge Betsen and Nicolas Brusque, both of whom scored two tries, and a third Grand Slam win for France in just six years. Aurélien Rougerie contributed another try to their dominant performance during Six Nations, while Gérald Merceron’s precise kicking continued to expand the lead. The sole Irish contribution to the scoreboard came through Keith Wood’s try.

Securing a Grand Slam on home turf is a rare opportunity for any team, and France’s achievement in 2002 was exceptional, showcasing their prowess and leaving an indelible mark on the history of the Six Nations. It was a moment of pride and glory for French rugby fans and a testament to their team’s skill and style. For more about let’s buy France Vs England Tickets.

In Six Nations 2004, France secured a hard-fought victory against England with a score of 24-21.

The opportunity to secure a Grand Slam on home turf is a rare one, and France found themselves in this position just two years after their last triumph. This time, they faced the reigning world champions, England, with both teams still in contention for the Six Nations title, despite England’s earlier loss to Ireland.

Although the result wasn’t as commanding as their victory two years prior, the outcome remained the same, leading to another Grand Slam celebration in Paris. Just as they did in the past Six Nations, France surged to an early lead, heading into halftime with a 21-3 advantage. The first half featured a try from Harinordoquy and Dimitri Yachvili’s impressive 19-point performance, which included a try just before the break.

In 2010, France dominated Ireland with a score of 33-10.

After a six-year gap, Les Bleus once again achieved a Grand Slam, capping their triumphant journey with a 12-10 victory against England during Six Nations at the Stade de France. However, it was their decisive 33-10 win over Ireland a few weeks earlier that truly stood out.

Ireland had only secured a single win at the Stade de France, a 27-25 victory in 2000, but they appeared poised to change that a decade later. Led by luminaries like Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara, the defending Grand Slam champions were formidable opponents. Nonetheless, France ushered in a new era and halted Irish hopes of consecutive Slams with a commanding performance in Six Nations.

First-half tries from William Servat and Yannick Jauzion placed the hosts in control, while a third from Clément Poitrenaud, an hour into the match, sealed the result, despite David Wallace’s try for Ireland. This victory ignited French dreams in the world of Six Nations rugby.

In 2017, France narrowly defeated Wales with a score of 20-18.

Rugby matches typically don’t extend to 100 minutes, but France made the most of every available second to secure a memorable victory over Wales during the Six Nations. It had been nearly six years since Les Bleus last defeated Warren Gatland’s team, a moment etched in history during the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final.

In the years that followed, Wales held the upper hand, even claiming their own Grand Slam in 2012. However, France finally broke their victory drought in a remarkable fashion in Six Nations. An early Rémi Lamerat try provided a perfect start for the hosts. Despite Leigh Halfpenny’s precise kicking keeping Wales in contention and pushing them into a five-point lead, France persevered.

In 2022, France outperformed England with a score of 25-13.

For France fans, the wait for a Grand Slam was a lengthy one, with 12 years passing since their previous triumph between 2004 and 2010. The anticipation built over time, and when it finally arrived in Six Nations 2022 at the Stade de France, it was a moment to savor.

Les Bleus delivered a resounding victory over England, securing their tenth Grand Slam. Gaël Fickou’s try in the 14th minute settled the nerves in Paris, and François Cros added another just before the break, putting Fabien Galthié’s team in a commanding position during Six Nations.

In the second half, a try by Freddie Steward briefly raised hopes of England spoiling the celebration. However, skipper Antoine Dupont’s try in the 60th minute sealed the victory, marking France’s triumphant return to the upper echelons of Six Nations rugby.

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