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The France rugby team competes in the Six Nations championship and is a comparative newcomer after they were only invited to compete in the Home Nations Championship (which then became the Five Nations) in 1910.

Rugby was introduced to France by the British in the 1870s. French rugby, including the national team and the the country's professional competitions under the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, is administered by the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) which was formed in 1919.

France has participated in all nine the Rugby World Cups and has been the runner-up on three occasions.

They also hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2007 which was won by South Africa. France won the two-match test series on their first visit to South Africa in 1958.

The two countries first met in 1907. However, that match won 55-6 by South Africa, did not have test match status.

The two countries first official test was in 1913, which was won 38-3 by South Africa after their tour of the four Home Nations.

At the end of 2018, the last time they played one another, South Africa had won 26 of the 44 tests, the French 11 and six tests were drawn.