Ireland
Eight Vintage Years
By Gary Watton
May 28 2013


Jackie Kyle, legend

The first XV of the Irish Rugby Football Union has experienced a rollercoaster ride since the inception of the IRFU in 1875. Often cast as the perennial underdog, the Irish rugby troops have frequently had many setbacks, but this has only served to render the occasional triumphs all the more sweet. Come with me now children as I remind y'all of those milestone years when our legendary rugby warriors proved the doubters wrong and gloriously shoved their way into the history books like a gatecrasher!

1894: Ireland won the Home Nations Championship and the triple crown for the first time.

1896: Ireland won the Home Nations Championship for a second time.

1899: Ireland won the Home Nations Championship for a third time and the triple crown for a second time.

1935: Ireland won the Home Nations Championship for a fourth time.

1948: Ireland won the Five Nations Championship and the grand slam for the first time.

IRELAND 6 Wales 3; at Ravenhill; 13th March

15 Higgins

14 O'Hanlon

13 McKee

12 Reid

11 Mullan [TRY]

10 Kyle

9 Strathdee

8 O'Brien

7 McCarthy

6 McKay

5 Nelson

4 Callan

3 McConnell

2 Mullen (captain)

1 Daly [TRY]

This critical match was in the balance, 3-3 at the interval, with the Welsh centre Bleddyn Williams having scored a try.

1949: Ireland won the Five Nations Championship for a second time and the triple crown for a fourth time.

1951: Ireland won the Five Nations Championship for the third time.

1967: Ireland became the first team from the home unions to win a test in the southern hemisphere:

Australia 5 IRELAND 11; at Sydney; 13th May

15 Kiernan (captain) [drop goal, conversion]

14 Duggan

13 Walsh [TRY]

12 McGrath [TRY]

11 Brophy

10 Gibson

9 Sherry

8 Goodall

7 Moore

6 Doyle

5 Molloy

4 McBride

3 Hutton

2 Kennedy

1 O'Callaghan

Ireland outscored their illustrious hosts by two tries to one, while the captain kicked five crucial points.