Where it all began for Johnno
Martin Johnson was born on this day in 1970
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Martin Johnson was born. "Johnno" would go on to lead England to the Rugby World Cup in 2003 following a playing career that took in every major honour. In 1995 and 2003 he helped England to Grand Slams and remains the only man to captain the British and Irish Lions on two occasions, in 1997 and 2001. At club level he was Leicester through and through, skippering the side to four Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups before hanging up his boots following the Tigers' loss to Lawrence Dallaglio's Wasps in the 2005 Premiership final at Twickenham. In 2008 he took up the reins with the England national side.
France saw off a determined Italy 25-13 in their Six Nations Championship clash at the Stade de France in Paris. Les Bleus needed a victory to avoid relinquishing the crown they have held for the past two years to unbeaten Wales and, despite not firing on all cylinders, they did what they had to. Anthony Floch, starting for the first time for his country, went over for their only try of the first half, with Yannick Jauzion and Aurelien Rougerie adding others after the break. Dimitri Yachvili was impressive on his return to the Test arena after a year in the wilderness, the Biarritz scrum-half kicking 10 points via two penalties and two conversions.
A try and a penalty from Scotland forward George Neilson was enough to see off England 6-3 in front of a crowd of 20,000 at the Richmond Athletic Ground, sealing a clean sweep for the Scots in the Home Nations championship.
Ugly scenes marred Ireland's 9-6 win over Wales at Lansdowne Road, and it took a last-second try from Mick Doyle to prevent a complete riot. Ten minutes into the second half Gareth Edwards gave Wales the lead with a drop goal that everyone other than referee Mike Titcomb, including Edwards, thought had passed wide of the posts. Bottles and fruit rained down from the stands and there was almost five-minute delay while order was restored and a pitch invasion repelled. Doyle's injury-time score helped calm the situation but Titcomb still needed a police escort back to the dressing-rooms.
Ireland and Wales drew 5-5 at Ravenhill in Belfast, handing the Five Nations Championship to Scotland. Fly-halves Frank Williams and Eugene Davy traded tries, but Scotland's 12-6 win over England the following weekend meant that they topped the pile with three wins, Ireland and Wales tied on in second with two wins and a draw. France finished dead last with 0 points.
England swept past Italy 40-5 at Twickenham on their way to a Six Nations Grand Slam, with a brace from Josh Lewsey and tries from Dan Luger, James Simpson-Daniel, Steve Thompson and Mike Tindall completing the rout. Italy replied with a try from Mirco Bergamasco, playing at fullback.
Andy Irvine was named as Scotland's third captain of the season, replacing Mike Biggar. The move didn't work, Scotland going down 18-30 in the Calcutta Cup, although Irvine went on to lead the side 14 more times.
Against a background of worldwide boycotts of the apartheid regime, a 42-man South American side, led by Hugo Porta and containing 31 Argentines, landed in South Africa for a short tour.