The Definitive Guide to the Nations Rugby Championship 2015

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6 Nations Review 2014 4 Bloggers Outcomes 6 elcome to the very first Player of The Tournament 2014 8 edition of The Definitive BusinessGuide MentoInActive Irish Retirement, Rugby a new Ft Tony O Reilly 10 publication aimed at Irish residents Six Nations 2014: the age of 55.gets We hope that Thrillingover championship this magazine will be an invaluable its romantic ending 12 resource to you, whether you 13 are retired, approaching Interesting Rugby Facts retirement or caring for older15 people. Irish Squad Preview Blast FromAmong The Past these pages, you will18find articles on health French Squad Overview 18 Ulster Bank, the best and beauty, financial advice from Richest places Men In 19 ‘stay-cation’, the in Rugby Ireland to enjoy a relaxing Squad Overview 22 top 10 places to retire abroad and much, much more. Brian O Driscoll Dedication 32 We would love to hear feedback on this first edition 6 Nations Key Player Watch 34 from our readers, so please don’t hesitate to get in 6 Nations Key Player Watch 36


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Introduction The 2015 Six Nations is the biggest international rugby competition in the Northern Hemisphere. The tournament has a 105year history as both the Five and Six Nations competition, with Italy being the latest country to join the might of England, Ireland, Wales, France and Scotland. In 2014 three teams could have won the tournament heading into its final round, however, Ireland were crowned champions on points differential. Both England and Ireland finished on eight points. 2014 was another great season of Six Nations rugby, with a resurgent France and Ireland making amends for a disappointing 2013. In a tournament that went all the way to the final weekend, Ireland managed to hold out England and walk away with the trophy. It was a fitting end to Brian O’Driscoll’s career, one of the all-time greats of the game. What will 2015 hold for one of the most storied tournaments in world rugby? February is just around the corner and for Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, France and Italy it means it’s time to fight. No world supremacy at stake, nor ‘European champion’ trophy to claim. No need. It’s beyond that, beyond getting gold or playing a final, claiming a title. No, it’s just about fighting, fighting your brother, your cousin,

your step-dad, your neighbour, your colleague, your mate. Yes, a backyard scrap, a two month-long all-in fight between six nations who have a common history, dozens of wars, territory disputes, independence aspirations, that’s what it is. I love you, me neither (Gainsbourg).You have to fight the bloke next door, the guy you see every day of your life. That’s why for decades the historic five thought ‘why bother with a World Cup’ when you have such a competition that satisfies all your animalistic, patriotic needs? Nothing can top that and in a way, nothing has. The French call it ‘le tournoi‘. No need to say the full name: when someone talks about ‘the tournament’ we know what he is talking about: the sport, the opponents, the time of the year. It’s time to fight your best enemies, time for the family affair. When you know your opponents so well, you tend to instinctively box them, see them the way that has been passed on to you by the players themselves, the commentators you listened to as a kid, your elders. Each of the six has a tag, a reputation, in other words a good reason to have their arse kicked by your team. Nick Oldschool



The 2014 Six Nations was a terrific tournament with some great performances and the winner undecided until the very last minute. Like every year, each of the teams have different things to take away from their performances. Irish eyes are smiling of course and England had a great season, very unlucky to have had the same record as Ireland (won four, lost one) but lose out on points difference. Still, England did manage to win the Triple Crown. Wales didn’t reach the heights of their previous two years but should still be happy with third place. France weren’t that great this year in terms of performance but still managed to be in contention for the title until the very last minute. Scotland and Italy won’t be happy with their results, both suffered a real downswing in fortune and failed to build on the progress they made last year.


Ireland had performed poorly in last year’s tournament – fifth out of six with only one solitary win. Ireland needed to do better this year. Still, the Irish came into this year’s tournament on the back of a heroic losing performance against New Zealand and with new coach Joe Schmidt in charge for his first Six Nations. Ireland got the ball rolling with tremendous wins against Scotland (28-6) and Wales (26-3), thrashing both teams with dominant performances. However they were unable to retain that momentum and were affected by a two week lay-off as they looked sluggish losing to England 10-13. Ireland came back in style against Italy, winning 46-7 and atoning for their loss against the Italians the


previous year. Ireland’s high points difference meant they topped the Six Nations table and had the best chance of winning the title. They only had to beat France in Paris, a feat they had not achieved since 2000. In fact, Ireland hadn’t beaten France anywhere since 2009. France were also going for the Six Nations title and the match was a close-run thing until the final whistle, with Ireland managing to hold out and win 22-20. It was their first Six Nations title since 2009, and only their third since 1985. Ireland finish the tournament in good standing, and though they say goodbye to the legendary Brian O’Driscoll, who was immense throughout the tournament, they will be buoyed by the tremendous showing of the team and some talented young players coming through.


Rob Kearney had a terrific tournament, even if he was overshadowed by England’s Mike Brown, and Gordon D’Arcy showed he still has a lot to offer. Andrew Trimble returned to the team in style and David Kearney is quickly establishing himself as a player of real class. Jonny Sexton has matured into one of the best outhalves around and Conor Murray has built on his great performances for the British and Irish Lions. Forwards Losing Sean O’Brien before the start of the tournament was a big blow but Chris Henry took his place and developed into one of the stars of the team. Peter O’Mahony is becoming a talismanic figure and Jaimie Heaslip is playing some of the best rugby of his life.

Paul O’Connell has had a resurgence and Devin Toner almost matched the great one’s presence. Rory Best has turned himself around after a lacklustre Lions tour and Cian Healy and Mike Ross have become possibly the premier prop pairing in European rugby. Ireland finish the Six Nations in great health and even have some quality players in back up positions such as Simon Zebo and Keith Earls. Ireland are in good stead to do great things at next year’s World Cup.


Since winning the tournament in 2011, England have won 12 of their last 15 Six Nations matches but have been denied the top spot in each year, losing out to Wales twice and this year to Ireland. It’s still a great record and they deservedly lifted the Triple Crown this year. They were unlucky to lose a very close game to France (24-26) at the start of the tournament but came back in real style and dominated the three Celtic countries and put Italy to the sword, 52-11. Mike Brown was their star player at fullback and they have a very good out-half in Owen Farrell, probably their best 10 since Jonny Wilkinson was at his peak. Amazing to think Farrell is only 22. Chris Robshaw is also one of the best 7s around and is a brilliant captain. England are in great form. They’re playing some very good rugby and have a brilliant defence. They’ll be looking to do some damage in next year’s World Cup (which they’re also hosting) and seem to be the best England team since the Golden Team of 2003.


Wales came into this year’s tournament in great form, having contributed the most players to the winning Lions’ series and were looking to become the first team in history to win three consecutive Six Nations title. The warning signs appeared when they struggled to beat Italy (23-15) in the first round before they came completely undone against Ireland. They came back with a strong win against France (27-6) but their hopes of a tournament win were dashed when they were outclassed by England (2918). Still, they still had enough left to inflict a heavy defeat on Scotland (51-3) on the last weekend of the tournament. Wales come out of the tournament in pretty bad nick. They’ve lost their captain Sam Warburton and fullback Leigh Halfpenny for the rest of the season. Though Wales have able replacements, the players themselves are inspirational and probably the two most important players on the Welsh team. It may have been the Lions tour that caused the problems for Wales this year. The players gave so much to the tour that they may not have had anything left for the Six Nations. When Wales are back to full strength they’ll be dangerous.


France are a very difficult team to judge. They had a pretty poor tournament in terms of performance yet managed to remain in contention until the final whistle of the final match – much like in the 2011 World Cup, where they were imploding but still managed to make the final.

France were much improved on last year, which isn’t difficult as they were absolutely terrible in last year’s tournament, but their only clear win was against Italy (30-10). They struggled to beat England and Scotland, lost comprehensively to Wales and were beaten by Ireland. Where to now for the French? They were missing their captain, Thierry Dusaoutoir, which must have had an effect on their performances, but it goes deeper than that. Phillippe Saint-Andre has a poor record as coach and France have lost a lot of their elan. It’s not all Saint-Andre’s fault, though. The French clubs in the Top 14 have the real power and see their national side as an afterthought. In most countries, the international players are rested by their respective clubs so they’ll be fully fit on Testmatch duty. Not in France. In France, the players play matches week in, week out (the Top 14 is ongoing throughout the Six Nations) and the top players will often find themselves playing matches on consecutive weeks. While an Irish player, like Brian O’Driscoll, will only play the Six Nations games while the tournament is on, the French players are looking to play twice that amount of matches in the same timeframe. Something has to be done if France want to achieve things at an international level. They last won the Grand Slam in 2010 but have been quite poor since then. It might be old-fashioned, but I the international side should always get preference.


Scotland had done very well in last year’s Six Nations, coming third, and it was hoped they could built

on that this year, but they never really got going. They started badly with a heavy loss to Ireland and then compounded that by an even heavier loss against England (20-0). They then struggled to beat Italy, before almost achieving a shock win against France, losing 19-17. They had a chance to do well against Wales but it all ended when they lost Stuart Hogg 20 minutes into the game. His absence seemed to knock the fight out of the team and Wales inflicted one of Scotland’s heaviest defeats in years. Where can Scotland go from here? They can’t get much worse, to be honest. They showed against France they can still achieve some good things but their heavy defeats against Ireland, England and especially Wales show there is still a long way to go. They were only saved the embarrassment of the wooden spoon by a single point victory over Italy (21-20).


Italy had beaten France and Ireland in the 2013 Six Nations tournament and hopes were high they could improve on that this time around but they never really got going. They gave Wales a fight but were completely outdone by France. They were then unlucky to lose to Scotland after a spirited performance, but followed this with heavy defeats against Ireland and England. Italy finished the tournament with five losses from five games, which is their poorest result in quiet a while – they usually manage to win at least one game. DECLAN MURPHY

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Bloggers Outcomes Robert Kitson

Best player: Mike Brown. The human cannonball just keeps getting better and better. Four tries in the tournament; before February he had not scored for England in his 21 previous Tests. Even Peter Schmeichel is now a fan. Best newcomer: Luther Burrell. No sign of the nerves he has suffered from.Looked comfortable and sharp throughout at outside centre but says he still prefers playing at 12. Best try: Gaël Fickou. France v England. Why Philippe Saint-André did not start him often was one of many French selectorial mysteries. Best match: England v Ireland. Had absolutely everything a top-class Test match should have. Ireland played well and deserved their title but, on the day, England were better. Best move: Had Burrell not been tackled into touch in the closing moments against Wales after a flowing team move, even Fickou’s try might have been nudged aside. Best tackle: See above. It cost Leigh Halfpenny a dislocated shoulder but his bravery was extraordinary. One thing I would change: Stop the clock if a scrum has to be reset. It would concentrate any number of minds and ensure better value for spectators.

Eddie Butler

Paul Rees

Best player: Mike Brown. The complete all-rounder. Best newcomer: Luther Burrell. Found 13 far from unlucky. Best try: Danny Care, England v Ireland – showed how they now play with their heads up, and Gaël Fickou’s for France against England, two tries worthy of winning a match. Best match: England v Ireland: Little separated the two most resourceful teams in the tournament. Best move: Rob Kearney’s try for Ireland at Twickenham after England had again been conned into expecting a rolling maul. Best tackle: David Denton’s part in tracking back 80 metres to thwart a France counter-attack and stop Maxime Mermoz at Murrayfield, having been dropped for his defence the previous match. One thing I would change: Give staggered kick-offs on the final day the red card and the red button.


Best player: Mike Brown. The more he became the England player to avoid in opponents’ planning, the more prominent he became. Perhaps his tackling wasn’t fully tested – testament to the defence of the other 14. Best newcomer: Leonardo Sarto. Italy are producing home-grown youngsters– Angelo Esposito is another – in positions previously surplus to requirements. A sense of adventure grows in players beyond Sergio Parisse. Best try: George North v Scotland. From Liam Williams’s catch and hand-off, Mike Phillips’s one-handed pass and the winger’s finish this was Welsh rugby at its best, and much better than anything tried by boot. Best match: England v Ireland. The most intense, highpaced and sustained game of the championship. Not just a reflection on the quality of this Six Nations but a signpost, touch wood, to the World Cup ahead. Best move: The build-up to Gaël Fickou’s try against England. It was a flash of France at their best, and only a flash. What a strange season for the country that is shaping the future of the game everywhere. Best tackle: The twin tackle by Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury on Jamie Roberts. Wales had tried the kicking game and now they tried the assault on the gain-line. Both ran into a brick wall. One thing I would change: Can we please spend some money on grass – the green stuff that grows, deep-rooted and lush, in our temperate climate. Nematodes and painted patches and divots the size of Dorset are horticultural anathema.

Michael Aylwin

Best player: Mike Brown. Hate going for the blindingly obvious, but sometimes you just have to accept there is only one answer Best newcomer: Billy Vunipola. Easy to forget that this was his first Six Nations. For a while he seemed a luxury impact player, even at club level, but something has changed. In short, he’s much fitter now. Best try: Alex Dunbar’s second against Italy. Some good tries in the two romps on this Saturday in February but Dunbar’s, showcasing the talents of one of Scotland’s reasons for optimism, actually meant something. Best match: France-England. A game of fluctuating fortunes won by a flash of brilliance at the end. Italy v Scotland and England v Ireland miss out for lesser first halves Best move: England counter-attack vs Wales. Wales spill the ball, and England are off – angles, pace, deftness of hand, off the cuff. Heroic tackle denies them. Best tackle: Michele Campagnaro on Scott Williams. A new talent announced himself with this huge hit on his Six Nations debut. Two tries and man of the match that day, but faded over rest of tournament. Williams won’t forget him. One thing I would change: Ireland win in Paris by two, and with a brilliant young centre scoring a hat-trick. We wake up, it’s 2000 again and we get to relive and savour the past 14 years.

Player of The Tournament 2014 Mike Brown scored four tries in the Six Nations as England finished as runners-up to Ireland Photograph: Giuseppe “Pino” Fama/Demotix/Corbis Giuseppe “Pino” Fama/ Giuseppe “Pino” Fama/Demotix/Corbis Press Association Friday 21 March 2014 15.36 GM The England full-back Mike Brown has won the 2014 RBS Six Nations player of the championship award. Brown, who was in blistering form throughout the Six Nations campaign, secured more than 34% of a public vote to claim an accolade that went to the Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny last season. Around 68,000 people took part in the vote, with Brown’s share of that being just over 23,400. The Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll finished second on 28%, with his teammate Andrew Trimble third. O’Driscoll bowed out of Test rugby last weekend when he helped Ireland beat France to land a first Six Nations title since 2009 in the process. A 16man shortlist was drawn up based on match statistics and analysis across a set of criteria, before the public voted. The Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton took fourth spot, ahead of Rob Kearney, with the Scotland No8 David Denton sixth and the England scrumhalf Danny Care seventh. Brown, of Harlequins, scored four tries for England during the campaign, had 65 carries and beat 25 defenders, while conceding no penalties and gaining more than 540 metres. “I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for me to be RBS Six Nations Player of the Championship,” Brown said. “I am extremely grateful and proud to win this award, particularly as it’s decided by the supporters. It was disappointing not to win the tournament overall, but congratulations to Ireland, and I am sure we will come back stronger next season. “Finally, a big thank you to all my teammates, back-room staff, and coaches for all the help they’ve given me through the tournament. I couldn’t perform on the field without them, and it’s great to have that support.” England’s head coach, Stuart Lancaster, added: “Congratulations to Mike for winning this accolade. He has been consistently strong for us throughout the competition and put in some outstanding performances. “I am very proud of what Mike and the whole squad – players, coaches and management – have achieved this RBS Six Nations. We are really looking forward to building on this as we head to New Zealand in the summer for our tour.”


Business Men In Irish Rugby Ft Tony O Reilly

Tony O Reilly Net worth €180.00 €0.00 Source of Wealth Businessman, Rugby Union Birth Place Dublin, Ireland Height 6’ 2” (1.88 m) Marital Status Married (Chryss Goulandris) Full Name Anthony Joseph Francis O’Reilly Nationality Ireland Date of Birth May 7, 1936 Ethnicity Irish Weight 196 lbs (89 kg) Occupation Businessman, International Rugby Union Player (Retired) Education Belvedere College, University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin, University of Bradford Children 4 (Tony O’Reilly, Junior, Gavin O’Reilly, Cameron O’Reilly)

About Sir Tony O’Reilly

Former Irish rugby union player, Sir Tony O’Reilly has a net worth of £120 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Although Bahamas-based O’Reilly made his fortune through a variety of astute business deals, including a 20% share in Provident Resources, selling Swiss-based metering company Landis & Gyr to Toshiba, and stakes in HJ Heinz and Independent News & Media, he first made his name as a rugby union player. He played for Ireland earning 29 caps and holds the record for the number of tries on British and Irish Lions tours, at 37. O’Reilly made 29 appearances in the Five Nations and was inducted in the Irish Rugby Football Union Hall of Fame in 2000 and to the IRB Hall of Fame in 2009. Between 1955 and 1963, O’Reilly played 30 times for the Barbarians, scoring 38 tries. Among his club teams were Leinster, London Irish and Leicester. His sporting success was achieved while he was building a business career. Tony O Reilly has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past six years or so. Having been unceremoniously ousted from the Independent Newspapers board room & having being obliged to sell his family homes and other private assets - life has been tough for the ex-Irish rugby International as he hurtles towards the financial abyss at the ripe old age of 78. Approaching 80 is a milestone at which most of us would crumble in fear were we faced with the trauma’s that the UCD & Incorporated law society of Ireland graduate has tackled with aplomb over his latter life. His very public financial humiliation does not appear to have dampened his legion of supporters either with high profile support from the likes of Mick Smurfit who states that he nor his companies will never bank with AIB again after their treatment of his associate and friend. Sir Anthony Joseph Francis O’Reilly was born on 7th of May 1936 in Dublin City. His flame has never been extinguished in Ireland as he excelled academically, in the corporate boardroom, on the global business stage and on the sports field as an accomplished international rugby player. Prolific Business man His business career is best defined by his involve-


ment in the Independent News & Media group where he was either CEO or Chairman between the years of 1973 to 2009. As the former CEO and Chairman of the H.J. Heinz & Co. he carved an unequalled reputation on the international business stage also. He was also the leading shareholder of Waterford Wedgewood and became probably Ireland’s first paper billionaire while convincing his brother in law to pour money into the ailing Waterford based glass maker. Tony our many millions in also in the vain attempt to stabilize the company. Currently O’Reilly is being pursued in the Irish courts for debts amounting to €22 million by AIB, following further losses amounting to hundreds of millions of euro in his unsuccessful attempt to stop his publishing nemesis Denis O Brien from assuming control of his beloved newspaper empire. His Dublin residence, on Fitzwilliam Square, sold earlier this year for €3.2M, and his opulent holiday home, Shorecliffe House in Glandore, Co. Cork is currently on the market. As a rugby player, he represented Ireland, the British & Lions and the Barbarians and was enshrined as a member of the International Rugby Board’s Hall of Fame. With six children and 19 grandchildren, and married to a Greek shipping heiress and horse breeder, he lives primarily in Lyford Cay in the Bahamas and until recently was regularly ensconced in Kilcullen, with frequent stays at his beloved Glandore. All his property is now in play with contracts soon to be signed on many assets,

Irish Rugby Giant Tony was the consummate all-rounder A sportsman, a family man, a business man and a true philanthropist. Between 1955 and 1970 O’Reilly won 29 caps for Ireland. His , (as it was then called), 5 Nations career of 15 years and 23 days is the longest in history, a record shared with fellow Ireland great Mike Gibson. He made his senior international debut, aged just 18, against France on 22 January 1955. He scored his four tries for Ireland against France on 28 January 1956 aged just 19; against Scotland in 25 February 1956; against Wales in 1959; and again against France in 1963 He made his final appearance for Ireland on 14 February 1970, after a six-year absence from the national team, against - age old enemy England. His final appearance was an 11th-hour replacement, denying Frank O’Driscoll—father of current living rugby legend Brian, Ireland’s most capped player—what would prove to be his only chance at a Test cap. British Lions Career O’Reilly toured twice with the British Lions, on their

1955 tour of South Africa and their 1959 tour to Australia and New Zealand. He made his debut for the Lions on 26 June 1955, scoring two tries against a Northern Universities XV. He played 15 games during the 1955 tour, scoring 16 tries. This included hat-tricks against a North Eastern Districts XV on 20 July and Transvaal on 23 July. He also played in all four Tests against South Africa, making his Test debut on the right wing before a crowd of 95,000 at Ellis Park on 6 August. He scored a try in the Lions 23-22 victory. He scored another try in the fourth Test on 24 September. On the 1959 tour he played a further 21 games and scored 21 tries. This included a hat-trick against King Country / Counties on 19 August. He played in all six tests, two against Australia and four against New Zealand. He scored tries in the two test wins against Australia and in the first and fourth tests against New Zealand. His total of 37 tries for the Lions on two tours remains a record. Barbarians Action Between 1955 and 1963 O’Reilly also made 30 appearances and scored 38 tries for the Barbarians. He made his debut on 9 April 1955 in a 6-3 win against Cardiff, and his final appearance against Swansea on 15 April 1963. On the Barbarians’ 1958 tour of South Africa, O’Reilly scored 12 tries, seven of them in the game against East Africa. He remains the Barbarians record holder for both appearances and tries. The Consummate Rugby Fanatic. O’Reilly was a member of the IRFU Commercial Committee. He was in the first class of inductees into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997, and was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2009. Down and Out? Dr Smurfit describes Tony as “probably the most brilliant marketeer and salesman of his generation” but said he had tried do to “too much at the same time”. Tony O’Reilly Junior says his father’s upsets are just “another chapter his amazing life - there will be another chapter”. Who are we to doubt this? A man that excelled in business, sport, philanthropy and social consciousness will not be kept down for long!

Six Nations 2014: Thrilling championship gets its romantic ending

It was destined to go to the end of the last game. There may be arguments about the schedule, which allows the games to unroll in a linear manner, rather then be played simultaneously, but it certainly provided drama to the last play. It went to the last movement, the last scrum, and Ireland – a model of calm for most of the campaign – scrambled and flapped and flung themselves willy-nilly at everything that moved. Brilliant chaos. Ireland and England made this a memorable Six Nations, and it went the way of romance, with Brian O’Driscoll becoming a champion. Joe Schmidt persuaded him to carry on and he played a full part in a team that proved adaptable and constructive from the off. If the last game was not the best of their five, it came with a demand on their reserves of strength against huge forwards. Ireland responded with an unquenchable spirit, a devotion to the cause and to each other. Raw forces, as opposed to the pure class that went with their encounter with England at Twickenham. It was the one they lost, the one that got away. By the end of the championship, England would be defending to the very last minute in determined mood, especially against Ireland and Wales – but in their opening encounter, they allowed the completely batty French to string together their one and only meaningful passing movement, and work the teenage Gael Fickou over for the winning try. It was a lapse that continued to haunt Stuart Lancaster as his team grew stronger and stronger. To be ruing a missed Grand Slam is not the worst position for a coach and, in his review of the season he will have many more memories to delight him than doubts to keep him awake at nights. Mike Brown, with four tries in these five games – in stark contrast to his tryless first 21 Tests – has emerged as a world-class full-back. His one-man running has been sensational, and the more he has become a marked man the more effortlessly he has escaped the clutches of the first tackler. He is starting to build an instinctive understanding with Jonny May and Jack Nowell. If there is a glitch in the back three it is that their collective try tally is only one more than Brown’s personal collection. That is, Brown has his four and Nowell had his first, in Rome. It doesn’t mean there is a lack of creativity in midfield. There is now a varied and sizeable threat in the shape of Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell, with Manu Tuilagi back to push them. The reaction of Burrell to being replaced suggests he is not going to take being pushed without a bit of shoving back. A coach couldn’t ask for more. Danny Care has nailed down his right to wear the No 9 shirt. It has been a rocky old path, but it is often the way that a player who has danced with disgrace finally learns to treasure his moments. Care positively bounced his way through every game. All the barely concealed rage that used to make him so volatile has been transferred to Owen Farrell, who still plays as if he owes every member of the opposition a good hammering for slights against his person in times gone by. Sexton, Chris Cusiter and Edoardo Gori all felt the feistiness of Farrell. No doubt Lancaster will have to give him the talk – the one about not wanting to dilute his passion, but please, Owen, not so many penalties, thank you. There are worse pep talks to have to give. Scotland looked like a team in need of a new coach. Fortunately, one is on his way.Vern Cotter cannot arrive too soon from Clermont Auvergne, to replace Scott Johnson, whose eccentricity in selection and strategy yielded a single win. His team reserved their worst till last, and Stuart Hogg’s red-card challenge on Dan Biggar summed up their campaign. Italy won even less than Scotland, but somehow they emerged with credit. They have a back three that can beat defenders and they have more than Sergio Parisse now. More of their players looked at ease with the rhythms of Test rugby. Wales, the defending champions, relaxed at home in their last game. They looked confident and inventive. George North was back to his menacing best and Jamie Roberts looked subtle as well as thumping. Which begs the question why they went into their two big away games – at Twickenham and in Dublin – with a much less positive strategy. True, Wales were rocked up front by the Irish pack, which might have shredded any plan to be expansive, but they went into the English game with a notion, having analysed Ireland’s approach against the same opponents, to kick. Rhys Priestland is not the best purveyor of an aerial game, but the problem was more basic than that. Having gone into the Six Nations with a desire to play like champions, here were Wales opting for something more timid. It was a good Six Nations, but not for the team that chose not to discover more about themselves. The voyages of discovery were made by Ireland and England. Eddie Butler


Interesting Rugby Facts

Rugby Union is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet. Here are a few trivia in relation to the game and it’s history! 1.According to legend, rugby was created in 1823 at Rugby School in Warwickshire. Apparently during a football game student, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and started running with it. 2.The oldest rugby club in the world is Dublin University Football Club. Founded in 1854. 3.The United States are the world’s reigning Olympic Rugby champions; they took the gold medal in 1924 when rugby was last played at the Olympics. 4.The first ever rugby game took place between Scotland and England. (Scotland won!) 5.Rugby balls are oval because they used to be made using pig bladders which were oval shaped when inflated. 6.A try is called a try because originally you crossing the line meant you could ‘try’ for a kick at the goal. 7.Just like the naughty step if a player misbehaves and gets a yellow card in rugby, they are sent to the ‘sin-bin’. This is a place on the sideline where they stay for 10 minutes to think about what they have done! 8.The 2011 World Cup was the biggest sporting event ever to be held in New Zealand. 9.Rugby is the national sport of 3 countries; Wales, Madagascar and New Zealand. 10.Basketball is said to have been started by a rugby coach in 1891; he wanted an indoor sport to keep his players fit during the winter.

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Irish Squad Preview Ireland go into a Six Nations Championship as defending champions for only the second time in nearly 30 years. Yet even after a very successful autumn campaign, when they were the only northern hemisphere team to win all their games, they’re still not clear favourites with the bookies who have them neck and neck with England. The reason for this is mainly to do with Ireland’s current injury concerns, especially to a number of key players. In a season where every province has been hit hard by injury, Schmidt has got some players back that were missing in autumn, but has lost others. Crucially in November he had the crucial 8-9-10 axis of Jamie Heaslip, Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton all fit and firing. But now all three players have an injury cloud over them, Heaslip’s persistent shoulder problem along with Sexton’s concussion issues and a worrying neck injury for Murray. Eoin Reddan could provide experienced cover for Murray at least but now his fitness is in question too. Kieran Marmion has been excellent for Connacht for the last two seasons but is still quite inexperienced at this level and it could be asking too much for him to start against Italy. The backrow has also been further hit by injuries to players who featured in November like Rhys Ruddock and Robin Copeland but at least there are a number of young players on form like Tommy O’Donnell, Jordi Murphy and Dominic Ryan looking to come in. Schmidt will also be delighted to be able to recall Sean O’Brien hopefully at some stage of the tournament as even his impact off the bench could be immense.

On the plus side, Schmidt has more depth in some positions than he did in November. In the crucial position of tighthead prop, a half-fit Mike Ross was forced to play through the pain in November as Schmidt didn’t have any other trustworthy option. Now Ross is actually out of the Leinster squad as Martin Moore and Tadgh Furlong have supplanted him. Ross is still a big part of Schmidt’s plans though but it’s a massive boost to have Moore and Connacht’s Nathan White as other serious options as well as Furlong to call on if needed. It’s actually the most depth Ireland have ever had in that position in the professional era. In the backline, Schmidt also has more options with the return to fitness of Keith Earls, Fergus McFadden, Dave Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald could well be used in midfield after a decent run of games in the centre for Leinster. The exciting Stuart Olding is a sad loss, but the good form of Fitzgerald and Darren Cave gives Schmidt some options alongside Jared Payne, Gordon D’Arcy and Robbie Henshaw. Traditionally at this time of year the Irish players come into the international fold on the back of qualifying for the knock-out stages of European competition. This time however that feel-good factor is only there for the Leinster and Connacht players and even that is somewhat tempered for Leinster by their poor second half performance against Wasps. In the end, Leinster got lucky and earned a home quarter-final anyway but for the Ulster and Munster players the Pro12 is all they have to play for. However this shouldn’t be too much of a factor. Several times in the recent seasons, Ireland’s players have played great in Europe and then flopped in the Six Nations. As professional players they can switch their mindsets very quickly, especially when they’re coming in to work with a coach with a proven track record of success. In Joe Schmidt Ireland have the best coach in the championship and what’s more his players firmly believe that too. There was a lengthy injury list in November as well but Schmidt refused to use it as an excuse. Instead he devised a gameplan for the players he had at his disposal and it worked a treat to beat South Africa, Georgia and Australia. Last season, the schedule of the games fell quite favourably for Ireland but this time it could be more difficult. Italy away in the first game may look like a reasonably light start but the Italians often produce their best performance in the first game out, particularly at home. Then it’s France in the Aviva a week later and they’re finally beginning to select their best team and will bring a massive physical threat. Two weeks after the French game, it’s England in the Aviva again where Ireland will be desperate to end a four-match losing streak to the men in white. Then they face a tough finale as well away to Wales and Scotland in consecutive week-

ends. The Welsh have probably the least injury problems of all the competing teams and could be dark horses to regain the title they won only two years ago. And Scotland, seemingly rejuvenated under new coach Vern Cotter, will be no walkover either. So it’s going to be about generating momentum by taking each game at it comes. If Ireland can do that, and with Joe Schmidt at the helm, there’s no reason why they can’t reclaim the championship. Key Men: Jonathan Sexton: The best fly-half in Europe, he was masterful in November before succumbing to repeated concussions which meant he hasn’t played since. He is key to Ireland’s hopes so much so that he could well be risked against France despite having no game-time in three months. Robbie Henshaw: Excellent defensively in the autumn, but Ireland have yet to fully exploit his attacking potential. As he showed when Connacht beat Munster, he can be devastating when released into space and he could give Ireland the extra cutting edge out wide which was missing in November. Paul O’Connell: From recent comments it looks like it will be his last Six Nations Championship. After a great autumn with Ireland his form at Munster has faltered somewhat. Hopefully he can make one final push for Ireland because his leadership and physical presence are still badly needed out there. Jim O Connor



English rugby union player, Jonny Wilkinson has a net worth of £14 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times UK Rich List. He is former member of the England national team. Jonny Wilkinson was a points-scoring machine right from his earliest days in professional rugby union. He was also utterly dedicated to his sport and, away from the pitch and remains a clean-living individual who has never attracted bad press. He has been the model professional and perfect teammate for Newcastle Falcons, Toulon and England. He would have achieved even greater things had it not been for an unfortunate series of injuries, and it came as no surprise when he announced his retirement from international rugby in December 2011. He played 91 times for England, holds the Rugby World Cup points record with 277 and is the only man to score points in two World Cup finals. In total, he scored 1,179 points for England. After 12 years (and 1,938 points) with Newcastle, Wilkinson signed a two-year deal with the leading French club Toulon in 2009 on a salary of £710,000 a season. The contract has been extended to 2013. Lucrative endorsement deals with Adidas, Gillette and SFR, the French mobile network, take his annual earnings to £2.5m. His company, Jonny W Ltd, showed net assets of nearly £5m in 2010.


About Bill Gammell Net Worth $45 Million Scottish sportsman and industrialist, Sir Bill Gammell has a net worth of £30 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Gammell’s best moment in a brief international rugby career came while playing for Scotland against Japan in 1977. The tall winger scored four tries in the Scots’ 74-9 victory in Tokyo. His rugby career was ended by injury after he had won just five caps. Educated at Edinburgh’s Fettes College, where he was a friend of the young Tony Blair, using venture capital Gammell later set up Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy in 1981 as a tiny oil exploration company. After it floated on the stock market in 1988, it expanded internationally. He stepped down as chief executive in 2011 and is now the company’s chairman. Gammell’s remaining stake is worth more than £11m and he has outside interests, including a 17% stake in the fast-growing Genius bread operation that he now chairs.

Jonny Wilkinson

Net Worth: $21 Million About Jonny Wilkinson •Source of Wealth Rugby •Birth Place Frimley, Surrey, England •Height 5’ 10” (1.78 m) •Marital Status In a relationship (Shelley Jenkins) •Full Name Jonathan Peter “Jonny” Wilkinson •Nationality United Kingdom •Date of Birth May 25, 1979 •Ethnicity English •Weight 196 lbs (89 kg) •Occupation Professional rugby union player •Education Lord Wandsworth College, Durham University

Bill Gammell

Steve Smith Net Worth $45 Million

About Steve Smith Former England international rugby union player and businessman, Steve Smith has a net worth of £30 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The talented scrum-half, played for Sale and captained England between 1982-1983. He co-founded Cotton Traders clothing with Fran Cotton, another former England captain, in 1987. He later moved into rugby commentary with ITV as a co-commentator from 1991 to 2003. Cotton Traders has strong rugby links, supplying kit to the Barbarians, Leicester Tigers, Worcester Warriors, Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons. Profits soared at the Cheshire-based operation in 2010-11 to a record £4.3m on £69m sales. In 2011-12 profits should come in at £6m on £76m sales. Given its strong growth and expansion plans, the business is worth £80m and Smith has a £26.6m stake. Past salaries and other assets take him to £30m.

•Source of Wealth Rugby union, Finance •Birth Place Edinburgh, Scotland •Marital Status Married (Janice Gammell) •Full Name William Benjamin Bowring Gammell •Nationality United Kingdom •Date of Birth December 29, 1952 •Ethnicity Scottish •Occupation Sportsman, Industrialist •Education University of Stirling, Fettes College •Children 3 (Michael, Kit, N/A)

Paul Caddick Tony O Reilly

Net Worth $225 million

Net worth €180.00 €0.00

•Source of Wealth, Construction •Nationality United Kingdom

•Source of Wealth Businessman, Rugby Union •Birth Place Dublin, Ireland •Height 6’ 2” (1.88 m) •Marital Status Married (Chryss Goulandris) •Full Name Anthony Joseph Francis O’Reilly •Nationality Ireland •Date of Birth May 7, 1936 •Ethnicity Irish •Weight 196 lbs (89 kg) •Occupation Businessman, International Rugby Union Player (Retired) •Education Belvedere College, University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin, University of Bradford •Children 4 (Tony O’Reilly, Junior, Gavin O’Reilly, Cameron O’Reilly)

About Paul Caddick Retired British rugby player, Paul Caddick has a net worth of £150 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. His playing career was curtailed after he injured his neck when a scrum collapsed in 1980 but that was by no means the end of his involvement with rugby. Having started work as a site engineer in the 1960s, Caddick gained a degree in civil engineering and qualified as a chartered civil and municipal engineer. In 1979 he founded Caddick Group, a civil engineering business in Yorkshire, which has evolved into a property-to-construction group. In the year to August 2011 it made a £2.7m loss on £62.3m sales with net assets of £38m. Sixteen years ago Caddick became owner of Leeds CF&A, giving him ownership of Headingley stadium and in 1998 he was instrumental in forming the world’s first dual code partnership when Leeds rugby union club joined forces with Leeds Rhinos under the Leeds Rugby umbrella. Caddick regularly attends Rhinos games with his children and grandchildren. In 2005 he agreed to sell the adjacent cricket stadium to Yorkshire county cricket club, who for the first time in their long history became owners of the iconic sporting arena. He chairs Leeds Rugby, in which Caddick Group has a 76% stake. The parent company has a roster of blue chip clients and was involved in the Trinity Quarter shopping centre in Leeds but in 2007 sold its share to its partner, the giant Land Securities property group. Caddick is also expanding fast in retirement homes through its Oakbridge Retirement Villages joint venture. The family and trusts own more than 90% of Caddick Group shares. Other private assets and sale proceeds brings Paul Caddick and family’s wealth at £150m.

About Sir Tony O’Reilly Former Irish rugby union player, Sir Tony O’Reilly has a net worth of £120 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Although Bahamas-based O’Reilly made his fortune through a variety of astute business deals, including a 20% share in Provident Resources, selling Swiss-based metering company Landis & Gyr to Toshiba, and stakes in HJ Heinz and Independent News & Media, he first made his name as a rugby union player. He played for Ireland earning 29 caps and holds the record for the number of tries on British and Irish Lions tours, at 37. O’Reilly made 29 appearances in the Five Nations and was inducted in the Irish Rugby Football Union Hall of Fame in 2000 and to the IRB Hall of Fame in 2009. Between 1955 and 1963, O’Reilly played 30 times for the Barbarians, scoring 38 tries. Among his club teams were Leinster, London Irish and Leicester. His sporting success was achieved while he was building a business career.

Simon McDowell Net Worth $54 million

•Source of Wealth Construction, •Nationality United Kingdom About Simon McDowell Retired Irish rugby player, Simon McDowell and family has a net worth of $54 million as of May 2012, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. A keen rugby player until injury forced him to hang up his boots in 1990, McDowell, 43, played for North Ireland Football Club from 1987 until 1990 before turning to refereeing, making his debut in 2002. McDowell was a referee at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. He spends 1,000 hours a year keeping fit for his onfield duties and also runs Kilwaughter Chemical Company. It started in 1939 as a quarry and mineral processor. In 1989 the company moved into mixing rendering products for concrete. The Co Antrim-based operation is owned by the McDowell family and made £4.1m profit on £18.1m sales.


Tallaght RFC Tallaght Rugby Club was set up in 2002 as part of the “Tallaght Project”, an IRFU initiative designed to introduce rugby in non-traditional areas. It initially started running underage teams and focused on introducing the game into schools in the area. In 2006 it set up their first senior men’s team and since then they have gone from strength to strength. The men’s team now competes in Division 7 of Metro League, where they secured a third place finish last season behind traditional powerhouses Old

and girls team. They train on Sunday mornings at eleven o’clock in Ballymana Lane in Kiltipper. Phil Preston is the youth development officer and head coach and Mairead Hayden, Karena Hull and Alan Bernes help with the coaching. “Tallaght RFC Youths have been growing each year since 2012 and has teams for boys and girls at under-8, under-10, under-12 and under-15 level. We want to bring rugby to everyone in Tallaght with initiatives like “Rugby on Your Green” during the summer. There is no better feeling when you hear that kids are asking for new boots, balls or jerseys for Christmas or birthdays just to play rugby. It’s not just a sport but a family and on the pitch you have 14 of that family behind you no matter what’s in front of you.” - Philip Preston, Tallaght RFC Youth Development Officer. Tallaght Rugby Club prides itself on the warmth of its welcome to everyone and anyone who wants to try rugby. The majority of our players took the game up late but quickly settled into the sport. So if you want to play for the club or find out how to support or sponsor the club go to for contact details.

“Don’t Stop Believing!”

Belvedere and Old Wesley. Tallaght RFC started a women’s team back in 2011 and they are now in their fourth competitive season and they compete in the Leinster Development League Division 3. Last season they only lost one game in their pool and qualified for the semi-finals for the first time where they lost to Old Belvedere. They then made the final of the Paul Cusack Plate where they lost to Railway Union. This season they have welcomed several new faces to the team, most of whom are new to the game and the team is building nicely again. For the last three seasons Tallaght have run a Youths joint boys 25

Squad Overviews:

ENGLAND They are tournament’s best enemy and team to beat in any part of the world. At all costs. Only the Italians, perhaps, haven’t the history that makes this game so special for the rest. A year in which you rack up four losses can be redeemed with a win against England. You always turn up against England, no extra motivation needed. They are the Six Nations’ historical benchmark and axis, the guys you measure yourself against. The England match is everyone’s blockbuster. No one is more battle-hardened than these guys, it’s in their DNA. England are always a formidable opponent whose only goal is to shut you up then shake your hand after 80 minutes, the traditional ‘good game’ and de rigueur smirk capping it all. They are the team to beat no matter what. The mother of all battles, la guerre.

WELSH SQUAD OVERVIEW Wearing red when you play a brutal sport like rugby is a statement: we are not afraid of drawing blood. There is something mythical about them, something different, dunno what really. Is it because of the Welsh rugby legends of the pre-80s we heard so much about? Or are we just reminiscing our first rugby emotions, the goosebumps we had when we saw, heard, felt Cardiff’s Arms park? One thing is certain: no one in Europe ever underestimates the Welsh, no matter what has their form been in the months before the battles. They are the only true rugby nation among the six, they represent the history of the game. They are the ‘Six Nations Tournament’, more so than anyone else. Nick Oldschool

SCOTTISH SQUAD OVERVIEW They have a low-key status that suits them all right. No one among us really hate them but for decades (when we were five), we all knew that a win at home or Murrayfield was likely to be the difference between a wooden spoon or not. The great thing when you aren’t English is that you have the feeling the Scots will use all their stamina and anger against their southern foes. They have talent and class. Scotland are the younger brother you know you have to beat, somehow reluctantly.


But if you are English, you know you will feel the ire of the whole nation when you travel to Murrayfield. And not just a wee bit. Nick Oldschool


The fifth brother, the estranged one. That’s what they were for decades until the Italians joined in. They are on the continent, speak a different language, don’t get what ‘fair play’ is about. They are the ugly ones, the dirty ones, the eye gougers, brawlers of the pack. The dark, ugly face of romanticism. It’s in them: a rugby field is a no man’s land in which anything goes. The French initially lamented professionalism, the IRB, the Anglo power, southern hemisphere’s modern vision, the rugby World Cup itself as they knew all this was going to kill the rugby they knew. They have infringed, punched and eye-gouged on all European grounds. It’s what they are renowned for. France is the team to crush, to wipe out, to stand up to. Nick Oldschool


The late comers, the non-rugby nation. When they were invited to join in 2000, most of us thought the Italians would be the sacrificial lambs of the bunch for the next 20 years. The football divas on a rugby pitch, really? How wrong were we! Many have discovered an aspect of Italy we didn’t know about. ‘Les ritals‘ have embraced the sport, the tournament’s tradition. They have earned their spot all right. Italy are the strangers, the guests who will tear you apart if you don’t respect them. A country which has the Calcio Storico in their blood has its place in our European tournament, we should have known better. So yes, the next two months may be cold, wet, muddy, ugly. The rugby played may be poor, uninspiring and unwatchable at times, that’s true. It has occasionally been all this in the past, no question. But for the six and their people, and for others who love rugby, all rugby, they will love it. As soon as the first anthem resonates our rugby instincts will take over, it has always been and will always be like that. Like a life-long family feud, we need to be who we are.

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Six Nations: A Rich History Foreword

The Six Nations Championship is the oldest rugby championship in the world, dating back to 1882. Originally held between the four United Kingdom countries England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, France joined in 1910 and Italy joined in 2000. The following archive text was provided mainly by BBC Sport Online and the six nations rugby site both well worth a visit. The RBS 6 Nations Championship is contested each season over seven weekends during February, March and sometimes April by the international sides of France, England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Each team plays the other five once per season with home advantage in alternate seasons (eg England hosted France in 2003, and so France host England in 2004), giving a total of 15 matches per Championship. The RBS 6 Nations Championship Trophy is presented to the team who earn the most points during the season, with 2 points being awarded for a win, and 1 point for a drawn match. If two or more teams finish the Championship with the same number points, the winner is decided on match-points difference (subtracting match-points ‘against’ from match-points ‘for’ in all Championship matches). If there is still no winner, then it is awarded to the team who scored the most tries during the Championship. If after all this a winner still cannot be decided then the Championship is shared between the teams. If in winning the Championship a team also wins

all of their five matches, they are given the title of ‘Grand Slam’ winner. There is also the title of ‘Triple Crown’ competed for each season, which is awarded if a team from the 4 Home Unions (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) beats each of the other 3 Home Unions. When the English rugby team travelled to Swansea on a dreary day in 1882, few could have realised the importance of the occasion. The game, in which England beat Wales by two goals and four tries to none, sparked a festival of rugby that has since become the pride of the northern hemisphere. Known in the early days as the International Championship - with only England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland competing - it was far less organised than the modern tournament. There was no points system, for example. Instead, teams were judged simply on whether they won or lost. Before the turn of the century the Championship was marred by disputes and three times (in 1885, 1887 and 1889) it could not be completed. Indeed, even after 1900, it continued to be a source of controversy. England and Scotland were the most successful teams in the early days, but by the mid-1890s the Welsh had developed an impressive side and a new system that would alter the face of the game. This “four three-quarter” system came into its own in 1893 when Wales became champions for the first time, winning rugby’s “invisible trophy”, the Triple Crown - beating all three other home nations.

that the six backs/nine forwards game would no longer be effective against the Welsh system and four three quarters became the norm at national and club level. By 1900 all of the four Home teams had found success at a game that was rapidly growing in popularity. In the first decade of the 20th century, Wales were the team to beat. Unbeaten at home between 1900 and 1913, they won six outright titles before England staged a revival that coincided with the 1910 opening of the RFU’s new home at Twickenham. The very first international at Twickenham brought England success over Wales, and heralded a golden era for English rugby. Four becomes five France did not join the fray until 1910 and, despite their later dominance, they struggled at first to achieve any notable success. They did however, coin the phrase ‘five nations’. In their first four years of entry, the French won just one game - a one point victory over Scotland in 1911. The outbreak of war in 1914 saw the tournament put on hold until 1920 and the inter-war years were dominated by England as they swept to nine championship victories, including five Grand Slams. Scotland collected their first Grand Slam in 1925 , with an emphatic win against England at Murrayfield. In 1926 , Scotland became the first Home Union side to defeat England at Twickenham after England had won the Grand Slam (winning the Triple Crown AND beating the French) five times in eight seasons.

Their success showed the other Home Union sides


Six Nations:

A Rich History

France continued to struggle and in 1931 the inadequacies of the French game’s administration and the discovery that a number of their players had been paid at club level, forced them to pull out of the tournament. Due to this, the championship became an entirely domestic affair for eight years and France rejoined in 1939-40, with the outbreak of World War Two delaying their re-entry for a further eight years. Rise of the French War again meant the curtailment of the championship in 1940. But when it resumed in 1947 it marked the beginning of a new rugby order. In the early post-war seasons, Ireland hit the front, taking three outright titles including consecutive Triple Crowns in 1948 and 1949. France shared the title in 1954 and 1955 and the “Tricolores” won it outright in 1959, driven by stars such as the inspirational lock forward Lucien Mias, fullback Pierre Lacaze and flanker Francois Moncla. They were champions for four years in a row from 1959 to 1962 and in 1968 won their first Grand Slam. The 1970’s brought mixed fortunes for both the Championship and the teams. In 1972 the tournament could not be completed after Scotland and Wales refused to play in Dublin because of the escalating political problems. And the following year the tournament finished with a unique five way tie - every country having won and lost two games. Welsh domination For Wales, however, the 1970s will be remembered as the golden era of Welsh rugby. They finished the decade with three Grand Slams and one Triple Crown and were led by legendary players such as fullback JPR Williams and scrum-half Gareth Edwards. The Welsh side were absolutely unstoppable. Only an outstanding French side prevented them from adding to the three Grand Slams achieved in this decade. England struggled throughout the 1970s and most of the following decade - their only relief being Bill Beaumont’s Grand Slam winning side of 1980. Instead, it was France who dominated, winning the title outright three times, including two Grand Slams in 1981 and 1987. In 1984, Scotland won their first Grand Slam for 59 years and Ireland scooped the title 12 months later. They have not won it since. England and France share the 90s The dominance of England and France during the 1990’s brought criticism that the championship was not offering a high enough standard of competition. The response was to bring an end to the historic format by asking Italy to join in 2000. In a Celtic revival 1999 saw Scotland take the championship and Wales finished third, having defeated both England and France and in 2000 and 2001, England claimed the tournament - but only after losing their final games against Scotland and Ireland respectively. ..and then there were six Italy, meanwhile, started the newly christened Six Nations championship superbly in 2000, winning their opening game against Scotland in Rome, and in 2007 had their best tournament yet finishing forth with back to back wins against Scotland and Wales. France then entered a purple patch winning in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007 with only England in 2003 (their world cup winning year) and Wales in 2005 suceeding to break up what would have been a significant period of French domination. In fact in 2007 they only lost once, against England. Wales put a poor world cup well and truly behind them by winning the grand slam in 2008 and not to be outdone Ireland won the grand slam in 2009 the first time since 1948. Wales hosted Ireland in Cardiff on the last round of play in 2009 with a Triple Crown on the line as well as knowing a 13-point win would be enough to retain their title. Drama ensued as with Ireland leading 17-15 at the death Welsh stand-off Stephen Jones missed a 50-metre penalty from halfway. The 2010 Six Nations belonged to France as they won the Grand Slam for the first time since 2004. Les Blues were rarely untroubled opening up with an 18-9 win over Scotland before defeating Ireland 33-10, Wales 26-20 and Italy 46-20. France had already won the Championship going into their final game with England after Ireland lost their second game of the tournament to Scotland hours earlier. But despite being pushed by England, who scored the only try of the game, France came out on top 12-10 at the Stade de France to win the Grand Slam. Ireland’s 23-20 loss to Scotland in the final game of the campaign not only denied Ireland the Triple Crown but saw Italy receive the dreaded Wooden Spoon for the third year running. The 2011 Six Nations could have brought England their first grand slam since 2003 but Ireland beat them convincingly in the penultimate game of the tournament leaving Wales a slim chance of taking the title if they had beat France by a

wide margin in the final game later the same day. France, who had lost to Italy earlier in the competition, beat Wales, and England took the title, but the edge was taken off the win by the manner of the loss againt Ireland. Other notable events were Italy’s first win against France and Brian O’Driscoll moving ahead of Scotland’s Ian Smith (78 year old record) as the championship’s all-time leading try scorer with his 25th tournament touchdown early in the second half. The 2012 tournament was a tail of two teams, firstly how the favorites Wales completed the grand slam in style, their second in 5 years and the second for their Southern hemisphere manager Warren Gatland (a new record) then secondly how the England team was completely rebuilt into a competitive outfit by temporary manager Stuart Lancaster in a matter of months to come second and only losing to Wales by one score. The 2013 tournament came down to the last game with England chasing a grand slam and Wales looking to win by an 8 point margin to take the championship. Wales did it in style in front of their home fans 30 - 3. List of winners: Note: Prior to 1994, teams on equal points shared the championship. Since then, ties have been by the points difference of the teams. The rules of the championship further provide that if teams tie on both match points and points difference, the team which scored the most tries wins the championship. Were this decider be a tie, the tying teams would share the championship. Since its introduction, match points and points difference have been sufficient to decide the championship.


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Six Nations:

A Rich History

Ireland ended their 61-year wait for a Grand Slam by beating Wales 17-15 in a thrilling denouement to the 2009 RBS 6 Nations.

late score ended a potential Scottish comeback. The Scots have not won a Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham since 1983.

Wales fly-half Stephen Jones missed a last-minute penalty from just short of halfway which, if successfully kicked, would have denied the Irish their first clean sweep since 1948.

In Rome, Italy landed the wooden spoon after a 50-8 defeat at the hands of France who finished third. Tries from Sébastien Chabal, François TrinhDuc, Maxime Médard (two), Cédric Heymans, Thomas Domingo and Julien Malzieu won Les Bleus the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy. Rugby Football History

Tries from Brian O’Driscoll and Tommy Bowe in a two-minute period just after half time ultimately served to take the game out of Wales’ reach. The final results and point difference mean Wales finish fourth. England defeated fierce rivals Scotland 26-12 to win back the Calcutta Cup and clinch second spot. First-half tries from Ugo Monye and Riki Flutey handed England the upper hand, and Mathew Tait’s


Brian O’ Driscoll Dedication

attacking skills make him a threat all over the field.

Brian Gerald O’Driscoll is a former Irish professional rugby union player. Registered at University College Dublin R.F.C., he played at outside centre for the Irish provincial team Leinster and formerly for Ireland. Born: January 21, 1979 (age 36), Clontarf, Dublin Height: 1.78 m Spouse Amy Huberman (m. 2010) Father Frank O Driscoll Brian O’ Driscoll (born 21 January 1979) is a former Irish professional Rugby Union player. He was the captain of the Ireland Rugby team from 2004 -2012 and captained Leinster Rugby from 2005 until the end of 2008 season. He captained the British and Irish Lions for their 2005 tour of New Zealand. Registered at University College Dublin RFC, he played at outside centre for the Irish provincial team Leinster. O’Driscoll is the most-capped player in rugby union history, having played 141 test matches – 133 for Ireland (83 as captain), and 8 for the British and Irish Lions. He scored 46 tries for Ireland and 1 try for the Lions in 2001, making him the highest try scorer of all time in Irish Rugby. He is the 8th-highest try scorer in international rugby union history, and the highest scoring centre of all time. O’Driscoll holds the Six Nations record for most tries scored with 26. He has scored the most Heineken Cup tries (30) for an Irishman. O’Driscoll was chosen as Player of the Tournament in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Six Nations Championships. His final appearance for Leinster, and for any team, was in the 2014 Pro12 Grand Final on 31 May in Leinster’s home ground, the RDS in Dublin, where Leinster defeated the Glasgow Warriors 34-12. One of the most feared players in the game, Brian O’Driscoll has also been one of the most consistent since bursting onto the international stage over a decade ago. The all-time Irish record try scorer, O’Driscoll also led his country more times than any other player and his brilliant defensive qualities and dazzling


The Dublin-born centre made a rapid rise through the representative ranks, impressing at Ireland Schools, U19 and U21 levels - including victory at the IRB Under-19s World Championship in 1998. He claimed his first full cap aged 20 in a thumping by the Australians, later playing in all four of Ireland’s games at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, scoring his first try against the USA. A hat-trick of tries against France to propel Ireland to their first win in Paris in 28 years in the 2000 Six Nations made him more widely known and won him his first Lions tour. In 2002 he became Ireland’s captain through injury, taking on the role full-time on Keith Wood’s retirement in 2004. That year he led Ireland to the Triple Crown and in 2005 led the Lions to New Zealand. Sadly his tour was ended with a disgraceful double tackle from All Blacks Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu. He continued to lead Ireland by example and with success - three Triple Crowns in four years between 2004 and 2007 - and in the last of those years he broke Wood’s captaincy record of 36 Tests. He was also named as the Player of the Six Nations in both 2006 and 2007. Injuries then started to take a toll and he missed the 2007 World Cup, but when he did play he continued to be a match-winner. In 2009 he led his country to a long-awaited Grand Slam - only their second clean sweep and first for 61 years. His performances also saw him honoured once again with the Player of the Championship award. Selection for his third British & Irish Lions tour followed later the same year before he helped steer Leinster to their first-ever Heineken Cup triumph. His 100th cap came in 2010 but he was having to increasingly coax his battered body through matches as Ireland struggled to repeat earlier successes. He did lead Ireland into the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup but surgery in the aftermath of the tournament subsequently ruled him out of the 2012 Six Nations. In 2013 he was overlooked as captain and his international season for Ireland and possibly career - ended on a sour note when he was sin-binned in Ireland’s final day defeat to Italy. He was still picked for a fourth and final Lions tour but was controversially dropped from the series decider. The decision caused much discussion but the Lions ultimately won the series by defeating the Wallabies in the final test in Sydney and, despite watching from the stands, O’Driscoll finally added a victorious Lions test series to his CV.

6 Nations Key Player Watch

Sam Warburton

The Welsh international Sam Kennedy-Warburton plays regional rugby for the Cardiff Blues and was first capped for Wales in 2009. Born: October 5, 1988 (age 26), Cardiff, United Kingdom Height: 1.88 m Weight: 106 kg Nationality: British Spouse: Rachel Thomas (m. 2014) Education: Whitchurch High School Caps: 49 Sam Kennedy-Warburton commonly known as Sam Warburton, is a Welsh international Rugby Union Player. Born in Wales to English parents Sam considers himself Welsh & British. Warburton plays regional rugby for the the Cardiff Blues and was first capped for Wales in 2009. Warburton represented Wales at all levels, including being captain of the U18’s, U19’s and he was captain of the Wales Under-20 team for the 2007–08 season. He led Wales to the under 19’s and under 20’s world cup semi finals. He had an extremely impressive debut coming on as a replacement against the USA and he has been tipped to succeed Martyn Williams as the Welsh & Blues open side flanker. His usual position is as open side flanker but he is also well capable of playing at blindside. He scored his first international try against Italy in the 2011 Six Nations tournament. Warburton captained Wales for the first time versus the Barbarians on 4 June 2011 at the tender age of 22 years and 242 days becoming Wales’ second youngest captain after the legendary Gareth Edwards. In August 2011 he was named as the Welsh Captain for the 2011 Rugby world cup in New Zealand. In April 2013 he was named the Lions’ captain for the 2013 tour to Australia.


Paul O ‘Connell

Born: October 20, 1979 (age 35), Limerick Height: 1.98 m Weight: 110 kg Nationality: Irish Spouse: Emily O’Leary (m. 2013) Caps: 96 Paul Jeremiah O’Connell (born 20 October 1979 in Limerick, Ireland) plays lock for both Ireland & Munster. He attended the Model School and Ard Scoil Ris Limerick where he initially excelled at swimming and only started playing rugby at the age of 16, playing for the school in the Munster Schools Senior Cup and representing Irish Schools in 1997–98 along with international teammate Gordon D’Arcy. O’Connell made his debut for Munster on 17 August 2001, in a Celtic League Fixture against Edinburgh. His Heineken Cup debut for the club came in a home fixture against Castres Olympique which Munster won 28-23. He started for Munster in their 2002 Heineken Cup final defeat to Leicester Tigers on 25 May 2002. O’Connell made his debut for Ireland against Wales in the 2002 Six nations Championship, starting alongside Mick Galway and scoring a try. In Ireland’s opening game of the 2004 Six nations Championship , O’Connell captained the side in the absence of The great Brian O Driscoll. He scored the last ever International try at the Old Lansdowne Road venue before it was demolished and rebuilt as the current Aviva Stadium in a 61-17 victory over the Pacific Islanders. O’Connell was selected in the squad for the 2005 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand. He won his first Test cap for the Lions on 25 June 2005, starting in the first test defeat to New Zealand. O’Connell also started the second and third tests. O’Connell was shortlisted for the International Rugby Board Player of the year in 2006, and was the only Northern Hemisphere nominee. He is Ireland’s fifth most capped player (95) and joint twenty fifth most capped international player in rugby union history. O’Connell has captained Munster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.

Owen Farrell Born: September 24, 1991 (age 23), Higher End Weight: 96 kg Height: 1.88 m Nationality: English Education: St. John Fisher Catholic High School, Wigan, The Oratory School, St George’s School, Harpenden Caps: 29 Farrell was born on 24 September 1991 in Wigan, Greater Manchester. He began playing Rugby League in his hometown at the age of eight for Wigan St Patricks. When his father Andy signed for Saracens in 2005, his family moved to Harpenden, where Owen was introduced to Rugby union for the first time. He was given his first call-up to the England Elite Player Squad when Stuart Lancaster selected him in his squad for the 2012 Six nations Championship. He made his debut on 4 February 2012 against Scotland, starting at Inside Centre next to Saracens’ teammates Brad Barritt & Charlie Hodgson. He kicked two penalties and a conversion. Against Wales, Farrell played Fly-Half for the first time in an England shirt after Charlie Hodgson sustaining a finger injury in the week leading up to the Wales game. Once again his goal kicking was impressive missing just a single kick out of five but was replaced by Toby Flood later in the game after appearing to injure his leg after a clearance kick. He then played against France and Ireland. In the Ireland game Farrell put in a good kicking display, only missing 1 conversion. Farrell finished the competition with 63 points from 5 games. He was named as part of the British & Irish Lions squad for their 2013tour to Australia. Owen started for the Lions in Hong Kong on 1 June against the Barbarians, kicking 3 penalties and 3 conversions in a convincing 59–8 win for the Lions. In his second game against Western Force, Owen who started on the bench came on in the 66th minute, to then score a try on his first touch, helping the Lions strive towards a 70–17 win.

6 Nations Key Player Watch

Richie Gray Richie Gray is a Scottish international rugby union player, who is currently signed to Castres Olympique. He is easily recognised on the pitch due to his striking height, standing at 2.08m and his long, peroxide blond hairstyle. Born : August 24, 1989 (age 25), Rutherglen United Kingdom Height : 2.08 m Weight 128 kg Education : Kelvinside Academy Caps: 42 Richie Gray (born 24 August 1989) is a skittish International Rugby union player, who is signed to Castres Olympique . . A former Kelvinside Academy student, he has represented Scotland at every age group from U-17 through to the senior sides, winning his first cap as an international as a substitute in the 2010 six nations championship match against France. His first international start came against New Zealand during the 2010 Autumn test series. He scored his first international try in a Six Nations game against Ireland in March 2012. He was selected for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia. He took a knock to the shoulder in the game against Combined Country, but went on to play a part in the final test against Australia, being part of a winning Lions series team.


Sergio Parisse

Sergio Parisse is an Italian rugby union player. He was the first Italian rugby union player to be nominated for the IRB International Player of the Year. Born September 12, 1983 (age 31),La Plata, Argentina Height 1.96 m Weight 112 kg Caps: 108 Sergio Parisse is an Italian Rugby union player. He was the first Italian rugby union player to be nominated for the IRB International Player of The year. He is the current captain of the Italian Rugby union Team. Parisse is widely considered one of the greatest number eights of modern rugby. Parisse was born in La Plata, Argentina. His father, also Sergio, played for L’Aquila where he won the Italian Club Championships in 1967 before his job with Alitalia took him to Argentina in 1970. Sergio Junior was born in 1983 and played his early rugby for La Plata. His family spoke Italian at home and every year Sergio would go on holiday to Italy. A number 8 of great handling ability, Parisse’s positional sense in the lineout and flair for getting across the gainline has marked him out as a special player in an often struggling Italian team. He was capped at the age of just 18 by then Italy coach John Kirwan, in a 64–10 defeat against New Zealand in Hamilton, New Zealand in June 2002. Parisse scored his first Test try against Canada in the 2003 Rugby World cup . Parisse is also the Italian captain, appointed in 2008 by Nick Mallett in place of Marco Bortolami. In September 2008 Parisse was nominated for IRB International Player of The year. Alongside Dan Carter Ryan Jones Shane Williams and Mike Blair.

Thierry Dusautoir Rugby Player Thierry Dusautoir is a French rugby union player who currently plays for France at international level and Toulouse in the French Top 14 club competition. Born : November 18, 1981 (age 33), Height :1.88 m Weight : 100 kg Caps: 70 Dusautoir was born in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He has a French father and Ivorian mother. He did not take up rugby until he was 16; before that, his favourite sport was judo. He is a graduate chemical engineer. Dusautoir is considered as a strong ball carrier with good speed and possessing the right amount of strength to break tackles. Dusautoir was called up into the French squad for tests during June 2006 against Romania and the Springboks. He made his debut for France in a test against Romania on 17 June 2006 at Cotroceni Stadium in Bucharest, Romania, which saw France defeat the Romanians 62–14 and Dusautoir scoring a try on his debut. He is perhaps most famous for his try against New Zealand in the quarter final of the 2007 World Cup in Cardiff in which he famously made 38 tackles, two more than the entire All Blacks side. He was nominated for world player of the year solely on this performance. On the night of the final 2011 World Cup Final, one could hear chants of “Dusautoir” coming from the many bars showing the game around the Auckland waterfront. He was named the 2011 IRB International Player of The year, thus becoming the second player from France to win the award after former captain Fabien Galthié in 2002.

Cork is a city with a very rich historical and archaeological heritage – much of it still in evidence today. Part of this heritage, Cork City Gaol is located 2k n/w from Patrick’s Street and while the magnificent castle-like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners! Visitors get a fascinating insight into day-today prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law-abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage. Stepping inside visitors are taken back in time to the 19th century. Wandering through the wings of the Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the State. The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures; original graffiti on cell walls tell the innermost feelings of some inmates while a very spectacular audio visual tells the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th c. Cork and why

some people turned to crime, and some ended up in Australia . This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and the tour is available in up to 13 languages. At the same location and uniquely situated in the former Governor’s House, is the Radio Museum Experience incorporating the restored 6CK Radio Broadcasting Studio. In addition to an audio visual on Marconi – and particularly his Irish connections, there is a wonderful collection of artefacts, including the RTE Collection, providing a nostalgic trip back to the early days of radio.

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