England's damp Six Nations coronation
Scotland celebrate a Grand Slam-wrecking victory over England at Murrayfield
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A damp squib for England at the culmination of the inaugural Six Nations Championship. Though they eventually won the title with a game to spare, they were denied the Grand Slam at a sopping wet Murrayfield, where Scotland picked up their first Calcutta Cup victory for a decade, and their first win of the season. Duncan Hodge scored all 19 of Scotland's points, including a try to cancel out Lawrence Dallaglio's effort, in a 19-13 victory.
At their 17th attempt, France finally beat England for the first time. The winger Edmund Vellat produced the solitary try of the match to end the hoodoo, in a game featuring four debutants on each side. Up until that match, England had emerged triumphant in 16 of their 17 encounters since 1906, with a solitary draw in 1922.
Scotland coach Frank Hadden stepped down from his post with the national team. Hadden, who had been in charge for four years, paid the price for a second poor Six Nations campaign. His struggling side recorded only a single win, over Italy at Murrayfield, during the 2009 tournament and therefore failed to hit their minimum target of two wins for the second year running.
The end of Wales' 12-month exile from international rugby, as a consequence of a row involving their star player, Arthur Gould. As a vote of thanks for his matchwinning efforts, the Welsh public had raised a testimonial for Gould running into hundreds of pounds, but in the opinion of the IFRB, this action contravened the rules governing professionalism in the sport. After a long and bitter row, Wales withdrew from international fixtures in the spring of 1897, eventually returning to play England at Blackheath the following season. Though they lost 14-7, it was to be Wales's last defeat by England for 12 years.
W J A "Dave" Davies, England's most-capped fly-half until overtaken by Rob Andrew, took time out from his honymoon in Paris to England to the Grand Slam. His wife was presumably unimpressed, because England's 12-3 win over France at Stade Colombes proved to be the last Test played by Davies. His Navy scrum-half Cecil Kershaw and England's then most-capped player, Cyril Lowe, also bowed out after the match.
The Rest of the World beat Middlesex, the reigning County Champions, 6-5 at Twickenham. The Champion County v The Rest was a staple on the fixture lists of the 1890s and early 1900s and was regarded as an additional international trial. This late-season match, however, was undistinguished and on this particular occasion diluted by the absence of several Lions about to embark on a tour of New Zealand and Australia.