Ireland
Ireland in the Five Nations of 1996
By Gary Watton
April 16 2013


Simon Mason

This was the last tournament in the all-too-brief career of the supremely talented Simon Geoghegan as his injury-ravaged career petered out. It was rumoured that even in the spring of 1997, the Lions selectors left a door open for him to make the tour to South Africa, but all to no avail. 1996 was another fairly forgettable year for the Ireland rugby team, save for a home win against another team of strugglers, Wales.

IRELAND 10 SCOTLAND 16; 20th January; at Lansdowne Road

15 Staples (c)

14 Wallace

13 Bell

12 McQuilkin

11 Geoghegan

10 Elwood [penalty, conversion]

9 Saverimutto

8 Johns

7 Corkery

6 Davidson

5 Francis

4 Fulcher

3 Clohessy [TRY]

2 Kingston

1 Popplewell

Tries from Michael Dods and Kevin McKenzie helped Scotland to build an unassailable 16-3 half time lead.

FRANCE 45 IRELAND 10; 17th February; at Parc des Princes

15 Staples (c)

14 Wallace

13 Bell

12 McQuilkin

11 Woods

10 Humphreys [penalty, conversion]

9 Hogan

8 Costello

7 Corkery

6 Davidson

5 Fulcher

4 Johns

3 Clohessy

2 Kingston

1 Popplewell

Debutant Richard Castel obtained two of seven tries as France again put a hapless Ireland to the sword at this venue.

IRELAND 30 WALES 17; 2nd March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Mason [2 penalties, 2 conversions]

14 Geoghegan [TRY]

13 Bell

12 Field

11 Woods [TRY]

10 Humphreys

9 Hogan (c)

8 Costello

7 McBride

6 Corkery [TRY]

5 Davidson

4 Fulcher [TRY]

3 Wallace

2 Clarke

1 Popplewell

Ieuan Evans scored a try in each half, but this was a good debut for Simon Mason who kicked ten useful points.

ENGLAND 28 IRELAND 15; 16th March; at Twickenham

15 Mason [4 penalties]

14 Geoghegan

13 Bell

12 Field

11 Woods

10 Humphreys [drop goal]

9 Hogan (c)

8 Costello

7 McBride

6 Corkery

5 Davidson

4 Fulcher

3 Wallace

2 Clarke

1 Popplewell

England landed another triple crown, thanks to a second-half try from Jon Sleightholme. Ireland had been 15-12 ahead.