No celebrations as Scotland wait for title confirmation
Martin Leslie of Scotland dives over to score during a frantic opening to the match in Paris. Scotland won but there were no celebrations that night ©
Scotland, with an unexpected 36-22 defeat of France in Paris, took the last-ever Five Nations Championship title. A remarkable game has a start which left everyone breathless, eight tries coming in the opening 28 minutes, five of them to Scotland. France, who at times looked a disorganised rabble, were never able to claw their way back from there. There was no celebrating for the Scots as they had to wait and hope that England lost to Wales the next day, which they did, and most of the side watched on TV having returned home.
The IRB announced that France would host the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The IRB Council voted an overwhelming 18-3 in favour of France's bid to stage a 20-team tournament co-hosted by Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The RFU had spent £500,000 on its campaign and was left stunned by the scale of the defeat. The word on the ground was that while its projected income figures were far superior to those offered by the French, they were simply not believed. "We did have a difference of opinion with the IRB over the reduction in our figures. It's unfortunate that people don't have the confidence in us," said RFU chairman Graeme Cattermole. "We've had auditors look at the figures and I have no doubt that we would have delivered them, otherwise we wouldn't have put them forward."
Wales secured a share of the Championship by beating Scotland 15-3 in the last Five Nations match staged at the St Helen's ground in Swansea. Hooker Bryn Meredith and legendary fly-half Cliff Morgan both crossed for tries for Wales, who finished tied with England and France at the top of the table.
Jean Prat, the legendary "Monsieur Rugby", plays his 51st and final Test for France, leading them to a 24-0 win against Italy in Grenoble. Earlier in the year Prat's France side had missed out on a Grand Slam after losing to Wales. Prat was inducted in to the Rugby Hall of Fame in 2001.
A late Tom Kiernan penalty brought Ireland their first Test win against South Africa in Dublin. It was close. He did not connect well and the ball barely crept over the bar Kiernan's two penalties and a try from Peter McGrath ensured that the Springboks lost a Test in the Home Unions for the first time since 1906.
In Lourdes, French captain Michel Crauste confirmed his retirement from international rugby after making 63 Test appearances since 1957.
Former rugby league internationals and London Wasps head coach Shaun Edwards signed a three-year contract to be Wales' assistant coach. He had been working with Wales boss Warren Gatland on a part-time basis since January after declining an offer to work with England Saxons. The London Wasps head coach would continue to combine his new role with his duties at the Premiership club.