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There is no doubt that Ireland have been the most impressive side in the 2023 Six Nations so far. When Saturday’s final match of the competition gets underway in Dublin, Ireland have the opportunity to complete the Six Nations Triple Crown as well as securing the Six Nations Grand Slam.
However, they should not get too far ahead of themselves as the Six Nations title is yet to be secured and there are still plenty of Six Nations possible outcomes. Due to other results, Ireland may well already be Six Nations champions by the time they kick off against England on Saturday evening, but the Triple Crown and the Grand Slam will still be up for grabs. Read on as we cover the details of the history of the Six Nations Triple Crown and the Six Nations Grand Slam.
Triple Crown – An Elusive Feat Within Reach
In order to secure the Triple Crown, one of the home nations – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – must beat all of the other three during one Six Nations campaign. It is not possible for either France or Italy to win the trophy which was first physically introduced to the tournament ahead of the 2006 Six Nations. Winning the Triple Crown is still possible for Ireland in the 2023 tournament after these two convincing results earlier in the competition in Cardiff and in Edinburgh.
Round 1 – Wales 10-34 Ireland
Round 4 – Scotland 7-22 Ireland
Who Has Won the Triple Crown Before?
We are not guaranteed to have a winner of the Triple Crown every year in the Six Nations, however if Ireland complete the set on Saturday, it will be the sixth year running that the trophy will be claimed. England have won the Triple Crown the most with Scotland bottom of the pile.
England – 26 Triple Crowns
Wales – 22
Ireland – 12
Scotland – 10
When did Ireland last win it?
A victory for Ireland over England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening will see Ireland win the Triple Crown for the second successive year. Although they were pipped to the Six Nations title by France in 2022, Ireland beat Wales 29-7, beat England 32-15 and ran out 26-5 winners against Scotland. Prior to the Triple Crown in 2022, Ireland had also secured the trio of wins in the Six Nations in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2018. But when it was just the Five Nations, Ireland only secured the Triple Crown in 1948, 1949, 1982 and 1985.
Grand Slam – Another Potential Jewel
So, we’ve established that the home nations have the opportunity to claim the Triple Crown, but what about the Grand Slam and is this open to all six competing nations? The answer is yes! However, it is a far tougher assignment and in order to be eligible to complete the Grand Slam, you must win the Six Nations! In simple language, you only claim the Grand Slam if you win all five of your fixtures across the Six Nations campaign. With Ireland coming into the final round of matches with a 100% record, a win over England will confirm the Six Nations and the Grand Slam.
Who has won the Grand Slam Before?
As with the Triple Crown, we regularly go through Six Nations campaigns without a team being able to secure the Grand Slam. However, we have seen the Grand Slam won in 2018 (England), 2019 (Wales), and 2022 with France doing so last year. England are the country with the most Grand Slam victories whereas Italy have never won the Six Nations let alone the Grand Slam!
England – 13 Grand Slams
Wales – 12
France – 10
Ireland – 3
Scotland – 3
Italy – 0
When did Ireland last do the Grand Slam?
Since the Six Nations replaced the Five Nations in 2000, Ireland have won the Grand Slam on two occasions. They beat all-comers, but only just, in 2009 when a drop kick from Ronan O’Gara in the 78th minute secured a 17-15 win in Cardiff. And their most recent Grand Slam came in 2018 which they finished off with a 24-15 victory over England at Twickenham.
Ireland’s only previous Grand Slam came during the Five Nations era. Back in 1948, the first tournament since the end of World War II, Ireland began with wins in Paris and at Twickenham before completing the campaign with home victories over Scotland and Wales. Ireland were very strong in that campaign under the captaincy of Ernest Strathdee and Karl Mullen.
Winning The 2023 Six Nations
As we covered earlier in the article, you can win the Triple Crown without winning the Six Nations and you can win the Six Nations without completing the Grand Slam. The first priority of any country at the start of the tournament is to secure the Six Nations – winning the Triple Crown can go a long way to securing the title, whereas the Grand Slam guarantees it.
So, ahead of the final round of matches in the 2023 Six Nations, read on what France need to do in ‘How can France win the Six Nations’ before seeing what the boys in green, the overwhelming favourites, need to happen so that Ireland can win the Six Nations.