One hundred years ago, the 1924 Five Nations Championship began badly for Scotland when they travelled to Paris to play France on New Year's Day. The match took place uniquely at Stade Pershing in the Bois de Vincennes, a sports stadium required for this match following the flooding of the River Seine which made French rugby's usual venue Stade Colombes unplayable.
Both sides picked five new caps and were seen as evenly matched but with Scotland having the heavier pack. Although Scotland led 10-6 with twenty-five minutes to go, the French scored two further tries to add to their two first half tries to emerge as winners by 12 points to 10. The Scots returned home somewhat chastened and had to wait a month for their next match with the arrival of Wales to play at Inverleith on February 2nd.
Wales meanwhile had also begun the championship unimpressively at the St Helen's ground in Swansea on January 19th. The selectors rashly selected nine new caps to face a vastly more experienced England team under the captaincy for the first time of the great forward Wavell Wakefield. England proved to be much the stronger team, albeit with five new caps but only one in the forwards, and they ran in five tries on their way to a 17-9 victory. It was the first staging post for England on their route to a second consecutive Grand Slam.