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Wales would be ‘worst ever’ Grand Slam winners claims Telegraph

18 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Wales celebrating a Grand Slam win at the Senedd in 2012

Wales would be the “worst ever” Grand Slam winners if they beat France on Saturday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper which ranks 2003 England as the “best ever” winners, claims that Wales would be at the bottom of the pile.

“While there is no such thing as an undeserved Grand Slam, even the most partisan Wales supporter will surely admit that luck has played a hefty part in their ever-flowering season,” the newspaper said.

“With two victories over sides, Ireland and Scotland, reduced to 14 man and a contentious refereeing display contributing to their (ultimately) convincing win over England.”

The article by Chief Rugby Union writer Mick Cleary ranks every Grand Slam since 1990, handing England five of the top ten but no Wales Grand Slams until number eight – in 2008.

Wales are also considered three of the four bottom ranking Grand Slams, in 2005, 2012 and 2019.

Meanwhile, the article is full of praise for England’s efforts, with none of their five Grand Slams ranked lower than ninth.

“This Grand Slam had been a long time coming, Clive Woodward leaving his team in no doubt as to the importance of finally managing a clean sweep after so many near misses,” the paper enthuses about England’s 2003 effort.

“The England head coach was well aware that his team needed a launch-pad towards the World Cup in Australia. England rounded off matters in emphatic manner with a 42-6 victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Rd. Onwards they went to global glory.”

Wales’ 2019 Grand Slam is ranked dead last, with Mick Cleary  intoning: “What a journey to Grand Slam glory this was for Wales who trailed 16-0 to France at half-time on the opening Friday night of the championship in Paris yet came through to beat England (21-13) in Cardiff mid-tournament and rounded off a surprising campaign with a 25-7 win over defending champions, Ireland.

“The Gatland traits of fitness and defence were on show.”

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