- Grand Slam (rugby union)
rugby union, a Grand Slam occurs when one team in the Six Nations Championshipmanages to beat all the others during one year's competition or when a touring side from one of the Southern Hemispherenations plays and defeats all four Home Nationssides in a single tour. The last team to have won the Grand Slam was Wales, in 2008.
ix Nations Championship
Six Nations Championshipand its predecessors, a grand slam is where one team beats all its opponents during one year's competition. [http://www.pubquizhelp.34sp.com/sport/rugby_6_nations.html] 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 unionwas in 1957, in a preview of a match between England and nrut|Scotland:quote|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—nrut|Wales in 1908–09, nrut|England in 1913–14, 1923–24 and 1991–92, and nrut|France in 1997–98—have won two consecutive Grand Slams; no team is yet to have achieved three consecutive Grand Slams.
2000, each team played four matches, two at home and two away from home. Following the inclusion of nrut|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. 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 away games.
The Grand Slam has been achieved 34 times—
Englandleads, with 12 wins, followed by Wales(10), France(8), nrut|Scotland (3) and Ireland (1). Italyhas yet to win a Grand Slam.
In Welsh, the Grand Slam is called "Y Gamp Lawn", in French "Le Grand Chelem".
Because of the congested schedule in international rugby, grand slam tours may become less common. The last grand slam tour was in 2005, when New Zealand achieved their second ever grand slam, but the original programme for the tour envisaged only three Test matches; only the late inclusion of the game against Wales made it possible for New Zealand even to contemplate winning the grand slam. In addition, New Zealand played only test matches, as opposed to midweek and weekend tour games against provincial sides which categorised other Grand Slam tours.
List Grand Slam Tours
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/international/3984061.stm BBC News article on past Grand Slam tours]
* [http://www.six-nations-rugby.co.uk/ The Official Six Nations Site ]
* [http://www.6nationsrugby.net/ 2008 Six Nations Information and Tournament Guide]
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