France's national rugby union team first played Argentina in 1949 when they undertook a two-test tour of the latter country. France won both matches. Argentina did not manage a win over France until their 16th meeting in 1985, under the captaincy of Hugo Porta.
France has been Argentina's most frequent Test match opponent. France played a significant role in the early development of Argentinian rugby in which the two countries played each other 13 times between 1949 and 1977. In total the two countries have met 45 times, with France winning 32 games, Argentina 12 and one game drawn.
The teams have played each other three times at Rugby World Cup tournaments: In 1999 France won a quarter-final, and in 2007 Argentina beat France 17-12 in the tournament-opening pool game and again 34-10 in the playoff for third and fourth place after Argentina had lost to tournament winners South Africa in the semi-final. Even though Argentina had shown strong form in the year leading up to the tournament (winning 10 of 13 Test matches plus a one-point loss to France), the opening-game win was regarded as an upset by the media.
Despite about two third of the games were played on Argentina's ground, France managed to win more than two third of them. France won the only match the two have played on neutral ground.
Argentina's win rate is slightly better at home than in France (27.6% versus 26.7%), but their point differential is better in France than at home (−5.6 points versus −9.0). The biggest difference in point was achieve by France during their second game of their 2012 tour to Argentina, winning 49 to 10.
Since 2000, the series has been especially closely fought, though Argentina have had the upper hand. In the 13 matches played in that time frame, the Pumas are 8–5, but eight of the matches were decided by a converted try (7 points) or less.
When the IRB introduced their world team rankings system in 2003, Argentina were ranked 7th and France 5th. Since then the ranking changed frequently and the two teams order was reversed many times like in March 2009, when Argentina climbed to 4th place and France fell to seventh. Most recently, following Argentina's win in the first of their two-Test series in June 2012, the two teams switched places in the rankings with the Pumas in 6th and France in 7th but after their second game a week later, which saw France won by 39 points, France climbed back to the 5th place and Argentina drop to 8th.