Ireland
Ireland in the Five Nations of 1976
By Gary Watton
April 6 2013

1976 was a vintage year for Wales as they completed a clean sweep. It was a fairly forgettable one for the men in green, save for a third consecutive win at Twickers against an England team that were 'sadly' whitewashed. In mitigation, throughout the tournament the Oirish were missing stalwart open-side flanker, Fergus Slattery, and he certainly proved irreplaceable. The captaincy baton in this post-McBride era quickly passed from Gibson to Grace. Mike Gibson was an outstanding back, but his captaincy abilities were not quite so good. Team line-ups for our opponents can be sourced at www.espnscrum.com 

FRANCE 26 IRELAND 3; 7th February; at Parc des Princes

15 Ensor

14 Grace

13 McIlrath

12 Gibson (c)

11 McMaster

10 McGann

9 Robbie [penalty]

8 Duggan

7 Deering

6 McKinney

5 Foley

4 Keane

3 O'Callaghan

2 Cantrell

1 Orr

A second-half penalty from John Robbie was of little consolation for Ireland's debutants, Brendan Foley and Phil Orr.

IRELAND 9 WALES 34; 21st February; at Lansdowne Road

15 Ensor

14 Grace (c)

13 Lavery

12 Gibson

11 McMaster

10 McGann [3 penalties]

9 Canniffe

8 Duggan

7 Deering

6 McKinney

5 Hakin

4 Keane

3 O'Callaghan

2 Cantrell

1 Orr

Ireland only trailed 10-9 at half time, but ended up conceding four tries for the second successive match.

ENGLAND 12 IRELAND 13; 6th March; at Twickenham

15 Ensor

14 Grace (c) [TRY]

13 Brady

12 Gibson

11 Blake-Knox

10 McGann [2 penalties, drop goal]

9 Canniffe

8 Steele

7 Deering

6 McKinney

5 Foley

4 Keane

3 O'Callaghan

2 Cantrell

1 Orr

Recovering from a 9-0 interval deficit, the Irish grabbed both points after Tom Grace pounced on a kick by McGann.

IRELAND 6 SCOTLAND 15; 20th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Moloney.L

14 Grace (c)

13 Brady

12 Gibson

11 Blake-Knox

10 McGann [2 penalties]

9 Moloney.J

8 Duggan

7 Deering

6 McKinney

5 Hakin

4 Keane

3 O'Callaghan

2 Cantrell

1 Orr

Scotland's full back Andy Irvine kicked four penalties in a contest that had been deadlocked at 6-6 at half time.