Love Rugby? The RBS 6 Nations is egg-chasing Christmas come early. Hate Rugby? It’s an excuse to get down the pub early before the Saturday night Premier League kick-off. As sporting spectacles go it really is win-win. Every year we all become unglued at the sight of our home nations battling it out in pursuit of the coveted grand slam and to celebrate another year of hard-hitting, bone crunching action, Teams on Tour are running down the Six Greatest Moments in 6 Nations history.
England Do The Grand Slam
We can’t stop talking about it, and we won’t stop talking about. England’s history-making Grand Slam in 2016 was all-the-more-impressive when you consider that less than a year prior, the Roses had been the victims of a painfully early exit from their home World Cup. But the arrival of Eddie Jones brought the thorns back to a side who managed to sting every single side they faced on their way to the trophy, kicking off a huge unbeaten run and winning back the hearts of the nation in the process.
God Save The Queen
When England played away in Ireland in 2007, the Roses returned to the stadium where less than 100 years’ prior, 14 Irishmen were shot by British armed forces. A rare occasion forced by a change in venue due to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road, this was a historic and unpredictable situation and nobody really knew how the Irish fans would react. However, when God Save The Queen blared out as the teams lined up, the green army stood up in respectful silence. That’s the power of sport.
O’Gara Breaks The Irish Curse
In 2009, Ireland were on the brink of making history as they travelled to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. They hadn’t won a Grand Slam in 61 years, but with one match left to win in pursuit of the 6 Nation’s ultimate honour it took a sublime Ronan O’Gara drop goal in the 78th minute to finally clinch the title and send the green army into euphoria.
Super Saturday Nightmare
Prior to the Rugby World Cup disasterpiece, England were in superb form in the 6 Nations. 2015’s competition was one of the most intense in years, and the Roses needed to chase down an immense points difference of 26 to take home the coveted old trophy. But despite annihilating France 55-35 in a thrilling performance that included an electrifying 75th minute try from Jack Nowell, England couldn’t stop a rampant Ireland from taking the honours.
Wales vs England has always, and will always be a feisty affair. In 2005 things were no different as Gavin Henson – an experienced rugby-playing-demolition-machine, annihilated Matthew Tait – an 18-year-old debutant who had been revising for his A-Levels just one year previously. Wales went on to win the game and the Grand Slam. Talk about a quick introduction to international Rugby!
The Origins Of O’Driscoll
Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll has gone down as a true legend of the game, and it was in the 2000 6 Nations that he decided to announce himself to the world stage proper. At the age of 21 in only his 11th test match, he ran an experienced French side absolutely ragged with sheer pace and magical footwork.