IRB Match Previews: 12/13 February

(IRB.COM) Friday 11 February 2011
 
 IRB Match Previews: 12/13 February
Stephen Jones will equal Gareth Thomas' 103 Test caps if he comes off the bench

Find out some statistics and interesting facts ahead of the second round of the RBS Six Nations 2011, when England host Italy, Wales travel to Scotland and Ireland take on France.

Find out how the Six Nations and European Nations Cup matches this weekend can impact the IRB World Rankings >>

ENGLAND v ITALY
Twickenham, London - Saturday, KO 14:30



VIEW THE MATCH PREVIEW (PDF) - Updated with Sheridan/Corbisiero change >>



Key stats:



*
Italy have lost all 11 of their second round matches in the Six Nations since joining in 2000, scoring 135 points and conceding 385.

* England wing Mark Cueto has scored more tries against Italy than any other opponent, with five in just four appearances, including a hat-trick in the 39-7 win at Twickenham in March 2005. However, Cueto last scored a Test try in March 2009, against France.

* Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni has been on the losing side eight times against England in the Six Nations.

* England need to score five more tries to reach 50 in Test matches since Martin Johnson's appointment as manager.

* The withdrawl of the injured Andrew Sheridan produces the youngest England front row for 78 years, with his replacement Alex Corbisiero aged 22, Dylan Hartley 24 and Dan Cole 23.

SCOTLAND v WALES
Murrayfield, Edinburgh - Saturday, KO 17:00


VIEW THE MATCH PREVIEW (PDF) >>


Key stats:


* Stephen Jones will make his 103rd Test appearance, including six for the British & Irish Lions, if he comes off the replacements bench. This will put him alongside Gareth Thomas the joint most-capped Welsh players in history.

* Scotland's three tries against France last weekend was the first time they had scored more than two tries in a match since beating Canada 41-0 in November 2008.

* Shane Williams has played against Scotland seven times and been on the winning side on each occasion. In complete contrast, Scotland fly half Dan Parks has not tasted victory against Wales in five attempts.

* The Welsh wing has seven tries in those seven matches and has scored tries on each of his last two appearances at Murrayfield in this fixture.

* Referee George Clancy was also in charge of last year's fixture between the sides, showing yellow cards to two Scotland players late in the match as Wales came from 24-14 behind in the final five minutes to snatch a dramatic 31-24 victory.

IRELAND v FRANCE
Aviva Stadium, Dublin - Sunday, KO 15:00


VIEW THE MATCH PREVIEW (PDF) >>



Key stats:


* Ireland have lost four of the last five matches on the second weekend of the Championship, the defeats all coming at the hands of France.

* Lionel Nallet plays in his 26th consecutive Six Nations match for France this weekend in a run that goes back to 11 February 2006 when he came on as a replacement in the 43-31 win over Ireland at the Stade de France. This is still nine behind Fabien Pelous' French record.

* Brian O'Driscoll has scored more tries against France than any other opponent, with eight in 11 appearances against them, even though he has only been on the winning side on four occasions.

* On this date in history, France beat Ireland 33-10 at the Stade de France in 2010.

* France are the only one of the Six Nations sides to have won more games (19) than they have lost (18) away to Ireland.