It’s been just the 4,378 days since France last won a Grand Slam in the Six Nations, and on that day in 2010 the Super Saturday replicated the one we will see in just four days’ time.
It was the year the Burj Khalifa opened in the UAE marking new heights for architecture. It was the year of the iPad which introduced a new technological age. And it was the year French rugby went out on a high and started going into a decade-long hibernation.
Mathieu Bastareaud, Morgan Parra and Freddie Michalak dominated the blue, white and red tricolore nation and they were seemingly unbeatable – they even made the next World Cup final.
In the years since that glorious Grand Slam day in Paris, France have failed to win a single thing on the international stage – bar a couple of under-20 competitions. But 12 years on, they’re back and peaking just in time for the World Cup, which they’ll host next year.
Back in 2010 Les Bleus opened their campaign with a 9-18 away win to Scotland, Bastareaud scoring twice as they got their championship off to a strong start.
They then dismantled Ireland 22-10 at home with three try-scorers and the rarest of rarities in international rugby – two drop goals from two different players.
Week three saw France inflict a brutal defeat on Wales in Cardiff, the home support unable to stop the away side winning 20-26 and going three from three.
At this point, like this year, they were the only possible Grand Slam winners going into round four, where that year they’d play Italy.
A comfortable 46-20 result came out of the Stade de France and set up a situation almost a mirror image to today’s Grand Slam chances.
France’s Slam Dunk
Up first Wales hosted Italy in Cardiff, as they will do on Saturday. The home side toppled the Azzurri to remain fourth in the championship – but then the fun started.
Ireland knew in 2010 that a win over Scotland on the final day would put them level on points prior to kick off in mainland Europe, it was a must win game.
Despite Brian O’Driscoll and Tommy Bowe crossing the whitewash for Ireland, Scotland came out eventual winners with a Dan Parks penalty (his fifth of the night) in the closing minutes to secure the match 23-20 for the Scots.
France had won the championship, no matter what England could do to them it wouldn’t be enough. But now, it was all about the Grand Slam.
A Francois Trinh-Duc drop goal put France ahead before a Ben Foden score – converted by Toby Flood – took the away side into the lead.
Three consecutive Parra penalties were enough to hand France a 12-10 win and the Slam, despite a Jonny Wilkinson penalty.
It was their first Slam since 2004 and their only since that great Dimitri Yachvilli era.
This weekend, though, they can replicate that very same day in 2010. Only England stand between Les Bleus and their fourth Six Nations Slam, but if Ireland win on Super Saturday it really does get interesting.