Rugby - England's Grand Slam failures

England have completed more Six (or Five) Nations Grand Slams (12) than any other country yet for many people it is some of their final day stumbles that live longer in the memory.


Here are five classic England Grand Slam failures:

1990 Murrayfield: Scotland 13, England 7

The most famous "choke" of all has been the subject of countless articles and an entire book.

Scotland captain David Sole famously set the tone by walking his team out at funeral pace, whipping the Murrayfield crowd into a frenzy. England were hot favourites but were on the back foot throughout as Tony Stanger's try made the difference and earned the Scots their third, and to date last, Grand Slam.

England bounced back to win Grand Slams in 1991 and 92, but everyone remembers the one that got away.


1999 Wembley: Wales 32 England 31

The first of three successive last-day failures by England.

In a game played in London during the building of the Millennium Stadium, England looked in control throughout but left a fatal chink of light when captain Lawrence Dallaglio went for touch instead of kicking for a goal that would have given England a nine-point lead late in the game.

It backfired as pocket rocket centre Scott Gibbs scored a brilliant jinking try two minutes from time and Neil Jenkins nailed the conversion from the touchline to complete a 22-point haul.

England not only missed the slam but also the title, as Scotland won it for the last time - the last before Italy joined - by virtue of a rare victory in Paris.


2000 Murrayfield: Scotland 19 England 13

England had won their first four games in dominant style and Scotland had lost their first four but at a rain-lashed Murrayfield the favourites made too many errors and Duncan Hodge, who scored all 19 points, derailed England's chariot again. The Six Nations title was a disappointing consolation.


2001. Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 20, England 14

It couldn't possibly happen again? England had hammered Wales, Italy, France and Scotland, scoring a remarkable 28 tries along the way, but the foot and mouth crisis forced the postponement of their game in Dublin from March to October.

With the momentum gone, England failed to spark and a Keith Wood-inspired Ireland deservedly triumphed.

Coach Clive Woodward later said that those three successive setbacks played a major part in developing the mindset that eventually led to England's dream year of 2003 when they finally secured the Grand Slam and followed up by winning the World Cup.


2011 Aviva Stadium, Dublin: Ireland 24 England 8

England, under the management of Martin Johnson, were virtually assured of their first title in eight years by the time they travelled to Dublin but the Grand Slam never looked likely from the early stages and Ireland immediately took command for another deserved win.

England's title "celebrations" later in the night were muted.

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