Ireland target elusive Grand Slam
March 16, 2009
Wales' Martyn Williams is felled by Ireland's Girvan Dempsey during their clash at the Millennium Stadium in 2007 © Getty Images
Ieuan Evans Mike Gibson David Humphreys Neil Jenkins Stephen Jones Robert Montgomery Brian O'Driscoll Ronan O'Gara Brynmor Williams Johnny Williams
Ireland will be seeking their first Grand Slam since 1948 - their only previous success - and their tenth Triple Crown when they take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
They have won the Crown three times since 2004 but the Grand Slam has eluded them on each occasion, deprived of the ultimate prize by France. Wales can win the Triple Crown for the 20th time, but they need to beat Ireland by 13 points to take the Championship title.
There have been 113 encounters between the countries since the first match, staged at Lansdowne Road, in 1882. Wales have won 62, Ireland 45 and the last of the six draws was 21-all at Cardiff in 1991.
Ireland set the records for the highest score and biggest winning margin of the series in their 54-10 victory in Dublin in 2002. Wales's 34-9 Lansdowne Road win in 1976 is their highest score and the 29-0 victory at Cardiff in 1907 their biggest winning margin of the series.
David Humphreys created the individual record for a match by scoring 22 points for Ireland in Dublin in 2002. Neil Jenkins set the corresponding record for Wales when he collected 20 points there in the 30-21 win in 1998.
The first of the four try hat-tricks recorded in the series was scored for Ireland by
Mike Gibson did not miss a match between 1964 and 1978, turning out a record 14 times for Ireland against Wales. Owing to political problems, the fixture was cancelled in 1972. Ieuan Evans played a dozen times for Wales between 1987 and 1997.
Johnnie Williams set the record for most tries in the rubber. During the early 1900s he crossed eight times in five matches for Wales (1907 to 1911). Brian O'Driscoll heads the Irish try-scorers on four to date.
Neil Jenkins is the leading overall scorer in the series. He scored 113 points for Wales in ten appearances between 1991 and 2000. David Humphreys set the corresponding record for Ireland with 84 in nine appearances in the series between 1996 and 2005. Ronan O'Gara and Stephen Jones have scored 80 to date.
Wales-Ireland Six Nations results:
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland