Grand Slam (XV rugby)


July 3, 2022

A Rugby Union Grand Slam is a term used when a national team wins all of its matches in a Six Nations Tournament or tour against nations of Britain and Ireland. By extension, this expression can be used for any competition operating on a system identical to the Tournament, such as the Rugby Championship.

Men's Six Nations Tournament


The term was first used by the English newspaper The Times, which used the expression "Grand Slam" to describe England's four victories at the 1957 Tournament. Since then, the expression Grand Slam has been used in French to describe the performance of one team winning against all the others. There is no official trophy. By convention, Grand Slams are not counted as part of the British tournament, which is played between the four teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, with the exception of the 1908 and 1909 editions because the Wales enhanced their Triple Crown with a test victory against France (which would not be admitted to the Tournament until 1910). On the other hand, the Triple Crown is based on the same concept and rewards the team which wins all its meetings against the other British nations. A total of forty-one Grand Slams have been obtained in the history of the Five/Six Nations Tournament, including thirty since the Second World War (totals stopped after the 2022 Tournament). England have won it thirteen times followed by Wales with twelve victories, France ten, Scotland three and recently Ireland also three. To date, only Italy has not won a Grand Slam. No team has ever won it three times in a row. Three teams have won two consecutive Grand Slams: Wales in 1908 and 1909, England in 1913-14, 1923-24, and 1991-92, and finally France in 1997-98. After the expansion of the Tournament to six participants with the admission of Italy in the year 2000, it was France which succeeded in 2002 in the first Grand Slam of the Six Nations. It was followed consecutively by England the following year, again France in 2004 and then Wales. In 2005, it became the first team to win a Grand Slam with more victories away than at home. Although an additional nation — Italy — has been participating in the Tournament since 2001, the average frequency of winning Grand Slams has increased slightly. Thirteen trophies were thus obtained between 1990 and 2010, more than one every two years, and since 2000, two years out of three. Since 2017, the Six Nations tournament has used bonus points. A team that wins the Grand Slam gets three bonus points, eliminating the possibility of a Grand Slam winner losing the tournament.


British Tournament (1882 - 1909)

The British tournament has been contested between the four nations of the British Isles (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales) from its origins in 1882 until the admission of France in 1910. By convention, only the editions of 1908 and 1909 are counted when Wales enhanced their Triple Crown with two test victories against France (admitted to the Tournament only in 1910).

Five Nations Tournament (1910 - 1931 and 1947 - 1999)

From 1910 to 1931From 1932 to 1939, France being excluded from the Tournament, there was no Grand Slam, but Scotland won two Triple Crowns in 1933 and 1938, and England also two in 1934 and 1937 . From 1940 to 1946, there was no Tournament because of the Second World War. From 1947 to 1999

Six Nations Tournament (since 2000)

Neither Scotland nor Italy have achieved a Grand Slam in the six-man version of the Tournament: (Updated after the 2022 Tournament) Balance sheet