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In rugby union, a Grand Slam occurs when one team in the Six Nations Championship (or its predecessors) manages to beat all the others during one year's competition. The last team to have won the Six Nations Grand Slam was Ireland in 2009.

Contents

Six Nations Championship

In the Six Nations Championship and its predecessors, a grand slam is where one team beats all its opponents during one year's competition. [1] The Grand Slam winners are awarded the Six Nations trophy (as tournament winners), but there is no special grand slam trophy. The Grand Slam is just a matter of pride over glory.

Although the term Grand Slam had long been in use in the game of Contract Bridge, the first time that the expression is known to have been applied to rugby union was in 1957, in a preview of a match between England and Scotland:

There is much more than usual at stake for England to-day in the match against Scotland at Twickenham ...

The last time when England achieved the Grand Slam under present conditions was as long ago as the 1927-28 season, but it is difficult to try to build up a case against her repeating the performance to-day.

The Times, 16 March 1957

Three teams — Wales in 1908 and 09, England in 1913 and 14, 1923 and 24 and 1991 and 92, and France in 1997 and 98 — have won two consecutive Grand Slams; no team has yet achieved three consecutive Grand Slams.

Prior to 2000, each team played four matches, two at home and two away from home. Following the inclusion of Italy in 2000, each team plays five matches, two at home and three away in one year, and the opposite in the following season. When Wales won the Grand Slam in 2005, it was the first time that the feat had been achieved by a team that had played more matches away than at home. This was repeated in 2009 with Ireland winning matches away to Italy, Scotland and Wales. The Welsh Grand Slam in 2008 saw them become the second team to win two Grand Slams in the Six Nations, but the first to do so with both three away games and two home games.

The Grand Slam has been achieved 35 times — England leads, with 12 wins, followed by Wales (10), France (8), Scotland (3) and Ireland (2). Italy has yet to win a Grand Slam, but has also only been in the tournament for a decade.

In Welsh, the Grand Slam is called Y Gamp Lawn, in French Le Grand Chelem.

France is the most successful Grand Slam winners in the time since they entered the competition. Since WWII, after the years when france was expelled from the competition. Excluding Italy, they have all met 62 times with the following results: Winners: France (24), Wales (21), England (16), Ireland (9), Scotland (6). Outright Winner: France (16), Wales (14), England (12), Ireland (7), Scotland (3). Grand Slam Wins: France (8), Wales (7), England (6), Ireland (2), Scotland (2).

Nation W Grand Slam Season
 England 12 1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1957, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003
 Wales 10 1908, 1909, 1911, 1950, 1952, 1971, 1976, 1978, 2005, 2008
 France 8 1968, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004
 Scotland 3 1925, 1984, 1990
 Ireland 2 1948, 2009
 Italy 0
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List of Grand Slam Winners

1882–1907 France did not take part in the championship
1908  Wales
1909  Wales
1911  Wales
1913  England
1914  England
1915–19 No tournament during World War I
1921  England
1923  England
1924  England
1925  Scotland
1928  England
1932–39 France were suspended from the championship
1940–46 No tournament during World War II
1948  Ireland
1950  Wales
1952  Wales
1957  England
1968  France
1971  Wales
1976  Wales
1977  France
1978  Wales
1980  England
1981  France
1984  Scotland
1987  France
1990  Scotland
1991  England
1992  England
1995  England
1997  France
1998  France
2000 Tournament expanded to include Italy.
2002  France[1]
2003  England[2]
2004  France[3]
2005  Wales[4]
2008  Wales[5]
2009  Ireland[6]

Similar in concept to the Grand Slam is the Triple Crown, which is won if a team from one of the Home Nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) manages to beat the other three teams. The Triple Crown was won most recently by Ireland, in 2009, as part of their Six Nations Grand Slam victory.

Grand Slam Tour

A Grand Slam tour is one in which a touring side plays Test matches against the four Home Nations: England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. If the tourists win all four games, they are said to have achieved a grand slam.

Wins against all four Home Nations in the same tour have been achieved four times by South Africa, three times by New Zealand and once by Australia, who has the record of being the only Southern Hemisphere team to suffer a grand slam of defeats against the Home Nations, in 1957–58.

   South Africa 1912–13, 1931–32, 1951–52, 1960–61
 New Zealand 1978, 2005, 2008
 Australia 1984

After 1984, Southern Hemisphere sides started to tour the British Isles more frequently, but to play fewer tests on each tour, and thus there were no Grand Slam tours between 1984 and 1998. However, since 1998 Grand Slam tours have become quite common again, as the number of tests on each tour has again increased (to the detriment of other matches on tour). The last successful grand slam tour was in 2008, when New Zealand achieved their third grand slam. The All Blacks' previous Grand Slam tour, in 2005, was originally intended to include only three Test matches; only the late inclusion of the game against Wales made it possible for the All Blacks even to contemplate winning the grand slam. In addition, New Zealand played only test matches in 2005 and played only one non-test in 2008, as opposed to frequent midweek and weekend tour games against provincial sides which categorised other Grand Slam tours.

List of Grand Slam tours (against all four Home Nations)

Successful tours (in which all four Home Nations were defeated) are indicated with a green check mark.

Teams Achieved Year
 New Zealand 1905-1906
United Kingdom South Africa 1906
 South Africa Yes check.svgY 1912-1913
 Australia 1927-1928
 South Africa Yes check.svgY 1931-1932
 New Zealand 1935-1936
 Australia 1947-1948
 South Africa Yes check.svgY 1951-1952
 New Zealand 1953-1954
 Australia 1958
 South Africa Yes check.svgY 1960-1961
 New Zealand 1963-1964
 Australia 1966-1967
 South Africa 1969-1970
 New Zealand 1972-1973
 Australia 1975-1976
 New Zealand Yes check.svgY 1978
 Australia 1981-1982
 Australia Yes check.svgY 1984
 South Africa 1998
 South Africa 2004
 New Zealand Yes check.svgY 2005
 New Zealand Yes check.svgY 2008
 Australia 2009
 New Zealand 2010
 South Africa 2010

See also

References

External links


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