Ireland
Ireland in the Six Nations of 2002
By Gary Watton
April 23 2013


54-10 versus Wales

England and the all-conquering French ruined Ireland's 2002 Six Nations campaign. However, this was still a team making progress, assisted by a core of Munster players in the pack, including Anthony Foley, John Hayes, an emerging Paul O'Connell, and David Wallace. Meanwhile, in a re-run of the Campbell versus Ward debate, the talking point now was which fly half was worthy of a starting place: Ulster's David Humphreys or Munster's maestro, Ronan O'Gara? For the time being, the selectors kept faith with the experienced Humphreys.

IRELAND 54 WALES 10; 3rd February; at Lansdowne Road

15 Dempsey

14 Murphy [2 TRIES]

13 O'Driscoll

12 Maggs

11 Hickie [TRY]

10 Humphreys [6 penalties, 2 conversions]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Wallace

6 Easterby

5 O'Connell [TRY]

4 Galwey (c)

3 Hayes

2 Sheahan

1 Clohessy

Substitutes O'Gara and Gleeson added to the tries' avalanche. Paul O'Connell and Keith Gleeson won their first caps. 

ENGLAND 45 IRELAND 11; 16th February; at Twickenham

15 Dempsey

14 Murphy 

13 O'Driscoll

12 Maggs

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys [2 penalties]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Wallace

6 Miller

5 O'Kelly

4 Galwey (c)

3 Hayes

2 Sheahan

1 Clohessy

Unstoppable England amassed six converted tries. Ireland's only response was one from the replacement Ronan O'Gara.

IRELAND 43 SCOTLAND 22; 2nd March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Dempsey

14 Horgan [TRY]

13 O'Driscoll [3 TRIES]

12 Maggs

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys [4 penalties, 2 conversions]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Wallace

6 Miller

5 O'Kelly

4 Galwey (c)

3 Hayes

2 Sheahan

1 Clohessy

Full back Brendan Laney kicked 17 points in a losing cause. Replacement Simon Easterby added to the tries' bonanza.

IRELAND 32 ITALY 17; 23rd March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Dempsey

14 Kelly [2 TRIES]

13 O'Driscoll 

12 Horgan

11 Hickie [TRY]

10 Humphreys (c) [4 penalties]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Wallace

6 Easterby

5 O'Kelly

4 Longwell

3 Hayes

2 Byrne

1 Clohessy

Italy replied with two second-half tries but Ireland were leading 17-0 at the halfway stage. John Kelly won his first cap.

FRANCE 44 IRELAND 5; 6th April; at the Stade de France

15 Dempsey

14 Horgan 

13 O'Driscoll 

12 Henderson

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys  

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Wallace

6 Easterby

5 O'Kelly

4 Longwell

3 Hayes

2 Wood (c) [TRY]

1 Clohessy

Betsen and Brusque shared four tries and Gerald Merceron kicked sixteen points as France clinched un autre grand chelem.