The Most Memorable Moments in Six Nations History


With the competition in full swing, each nation of the Six Nations Cup has had its own ups and downs. Whilst the tournament has had a rocky few years thanks to Covid, things are looking to be back to normal for fans of the Six Nations.

It feels like forever, but the atmosphere is back thanks to the fans being able to return to stadiums again - there’s no more of that almost eerie ambience that was rife in the last tournament.

Since the five-nation tournament became six nations, there’s been 21 seasons of sheer joy and agony for fans - Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from these tournaments:

  1. Italy manage a win thanks to the unstoppable Diego

For a very long time, Italy didn’t look like they were up to snuff when it came to the Six Nations, and many fans didn’t fancy their chances in the 2000 tournament. So much so, that when it came to Six Nations betting that year, the Italian team were slated as 250/1 odds when they played defending champs Scotland.

Diego Dominguez was already well known as a top-level goal kicker when he entered that match against the defending champions in Rome. But he stepped up to the oche and managed to bag a whopping 29 points - including 3 dropped goals. Eventually, Scotland did hold out, outscoring Italy by only 2 tries to one. Dominguez was revered almost like a national hero after the game, being lifted onto the shoulders of teammates.

This is often seen as one of Italy’s finest hours, with such displays being very rare in the matches since that fateful tournament in 2000. Since then, they've only had 12 wins and a draw - against 97 defeats at tournaments and no major victory since back in 2015.

  1. Ireland has another glorious tournament moment

Ireland has proven itself to be quite the formidable opponent in big tournaments - They’ve won the Grand Slam in both 2009 and 2018 and Six Nations twice. 

They’ve had some incredibly impressive moments on the pitch during Six Nations tournaments so it can be hard to single just one moment out - but the brilliant performance by Brian O’Driscoll in the match against France is a standout.

At only the tender age of 21, he managed to inspire the troops of the Irish team to their first victory in France since way back in 1972. His supreme guile, attacking tenacity and balance helped bob and weave past the defence with jaw-dropping ease. The unstoppable form by O’Driscoll made people hope for a new star in international rugby and the record since shows they were not disappointed.

  1. England Destroy in Dublin

It was the final game of the 2003 tournament. England stormed into Landsdowne Road as the favourites of the game, but there were doubts. This England squad had an unfortunate record for slam deciders for the past 4 tournaments.

But England came through. Martin Johnson captained the squad, famously refusing to move his squad from Ireland's side of the red carpet before the game. This led to a minor controversy as the Irish president had to walk on the grass - and not the carpet - to shake the hands of her nation's team!

After this display of sheer stubbornness, the squad put on a display that was one of the best the England team had seen in many years. Heated up by the terrific performance by legendary Jonny Wilkinson, the squad trumped Ireland in a stunning 42-6 victory.

  1. Hansen's Miracle Kick

A fond memory in many Welsh fans' minds, the England Vs Wales game in 2005 had one striking moment - Gavin Hensens 43m penalty kick.

It was this strike that saw Wales win the game. Hensen placed the ball with an arrogant swagger as if he could tell the future and knew for sure that that ball was going straight between the posts. And it did. 

Whilst Gavin had a few more ups in his career - as well as downs - nothing comes close to that penalty kick that caused celebration in Wales for many weeks after!

  1. Dulin Goes To The Last Bell

Whilst last year's tournament lacked the atmosphere and roar of the raving fans, it didn't lack one thing; show-stopping finishes - no more so than when Wales played France at the Stadt de France.

Wales were looking like they may snatch an unlikely Grand Slam in the match against France - up 30-20 and looking strong. But one man wanted to make sure that didn’t happen - French full-back Brice Dulin. 

There was plenty of bedlam as a player from each side was sin-binned and the French team swapped over Ollivon to make up the hole that was left. It still looked as if Wales was going to be walking away from the victors - that was until a brilliant final play from Dulin. He made incredible use of space and made a crazy break for the left corner, scoring the tri and leaving Wales shell shocked. 

Whilst things were looking up for France after this, they went and lost to Scotland in their next game. It’s true when they say “you never know which France is going to turn up!”