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Six Nations: Ireland takes home the trophy


Ireland secured its third ever Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day with a 15-24 victory over England

Ireland has previously won the Grand Slam in 2009 and also in 1948, where they also celebrated an undefeated triumph. Captain Rory Best said: “I think words can’t describe how delighted we are with that win, but also with the Grand Slam.

“We just had to make every moment count, every single moment. We knew it was going to be a really tough task to come here and win, but right from the off we tried to attack England with and without the ball.”

Irish union player, Johnny Sexton, said: “The defence was incredible. We made Andy proud on the first day back in Twickenham for him. I’m sure he’s proud to be part of that effort. We saved our best performance for last, which is always very satisfying.”

Referring to head coach, Joe Schmidt, Sexton said: “He keeps you on your toes… how do I put this nicely? You know he is doing it for a reason – putting pressure on you in training, at meetings to make sure on Saturday every box is ticked, to make sure all the prep is done.

“He is an incredible coach, his record with Irish teams speaks for itself. He was three years with Leinster and got six finals. Five years with Ireland and we have won three championships, a grand slam – the World Cup obviously didn’t go to plan but there are lots of reasons why that didn’t. Hopefully we can have a good crack at the next one.”

Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

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