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History and Rivalry Collide in "Le Crunch"

From physical battles to memorable moments, a brief look back at the history of one of Rugby's most longstanding rivalries.

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The "Crunch" is the colloquial name given to the rugby union match between England and France, which takes place annually as part of the Six Nations Championship. The Six Nations Championship is a prestigious rugby tournament that involves the national teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales.

The tournament dates back to 1883, when it was known as the Home Nations Championship and involved only England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. France joined the tournament in 1910, and it became the Five Nations Championship. Italy was added in 2000, and the tournament became the Six Nations Championship.

The history of the "Crunch" dates back to the early days of the Five Nations Championship. The first match between England and France took place in 1906, and the rivalry between the two nations has grown ever since. The term "Crunch" is said to have originated in the 1980s, when it was used to describe the physical nature of the match by a British journalist named Brian Moore.

Over the years, the England vs. France fixture has produced some memorable moments. In 1991, England beat France in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup, en route to winning the tournament. Later in 2002, France famously beat England 20-15 in a match that saw them come back from a 15-0 deficit at half-time. In 2015, England beat France 55-35 in a high-scoring encounter that saw them win the Six Nations Championship.

In terms of overall results, England have the upper hand in the "Crunch" with 59 wins to France's 41. There have also been seven draws between the two teams. However, the match is always keenly contested, and the result can never be taken for granted.



Video credit: RWC
Photo credit GettyImages, LeFigaro, SkySports

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