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The 2009 Six Nations Championship, known as the 2009 RBS 6 Nations because of the tournament's sponsorship by the Royal Bank of Scotland, was the tenth Six Nations Championship, an annual rugby union competition contested by the six major Northern Hemispheremarker rugby union national teams. The tournament was held between 7 February and 21 March 2009.

Although the tournament was the tenth in its current format, including the competition's time as the Home Nations Championship and the Five Nations Championship, it was the 115th Northern Hemisphere rugby union championship.

The championship was contested by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Ireland won the Grand Slam and Triple Crown, their first Grand Slam since 1948 and Triple Crown since 2007. It was Ireland's second Grand Slam in total.

England finished as runners-up, and they also won the Calcutta Cup. The 2009 tournament featured the first Friday night game in its history, played between France and Wales in Paris.

Summary

The tournament began on 7 February 2009, when England hosted Italy in the earlier of the day's two matches. Ireland played France later that evening, with Scotland versus Wales the following day.

The reigning champions on entering the 2009 tournament were Wales, who won the Grand Slam and Triple Crown in 2008. The winners of both accolades in 2009 were Ireland, with Ronan O'Gara's drop goal leaving the score in the final match against Wales in Cardiffmarker on 21 March at 17–15. Wales's Stephen Jones then missed a late penalty from just inside the Ireland half to leave Wales in fourth position. Ireland's two tries in that match came from captain Brian O'Driscoll and Tommy Bowe scored in quick succession in the 44th and 46th minutes respectively. Paul O'Connell received the Triple Crown and Ireland's captain Brian O'Driscoll lifted the trophy. It was Ireland's first Grand Slam in 61 years, their last one being in 1948. This was achieved in the first Six Nations Championship since Declan Kidney was appointed as manager of the Ireland team, succeeding Eddie O'Sullivan who resigned after the previous tournament.

Twelve tries were scored by Ireland throughout the tournament, and five wins left the team on top of the table at the end of the Championship with ten points. They opened with a 30–21 win over France at home stadium Croke Parkmarker on 7 February. On 15 February Ireland's second match was a 9–38 beating of Italy at the Stadio Flaminiomarker in Romemarker. On 28 February, Ireland beat England 14–13 at Croke Park and on 14 March, Ireland beat Scotland 15–22 at Murrayfield Stadiummarker. Then followed the Grand Slam against Wales on 21 March 2009. That game was attended by the President of Ireland Mary McAleese, who presented the trophy, and Taoiseach Brian Cowen. Following the game there were tributes from politicians including Brian Cowen, Leader of the Opposition Enda Kenny and Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen. A civic reception for the team took place outside Dublin's Mansion Housemarker on 22 March at 16:30, with 18,000 fans attending alongside Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Dublin's Deputy Lord Mayor Emer Costelloe. 2,000 fans had earlier greeted the team upon their arrival at Dublin Airportmarker. Brian O'Driscoll described 21 March as a “sweet, sweet day”. The game was watched by 945,000 people in Ireland, the highest rating television programme in the country by that stage of 2009. Former coach Eddie O'Sullivan was said to be "delighted" for the team. Brain O'Driscoll was named player of the tournament, beating Italy's Sergio Parisse and Ireland teammate Paul O'Connell. O'Connell was later named captain of the British and Irish Lions team to tour South Africa and containing fourteen members of the Grand Slam winning Irish team on 21 April 2009, describing it as "a great honour".

Italy were the only side to not win a match in the tournament, suffering defeats by twenty points or more against, in addition to Ireland, France (50–8), England (36–11) and Scotland (26–6), while losing 20–15 to Wales. Scotland managed a solitary victory against Italy to finish on 2 points. England, France and Wales all managed to win three in their matches to finish level on six points but England's points difference of +54 granted them second place in the table. Their points tally was boosted by a 36–10 defeat of France and a 26–12 win against Scotland which sealed the Calcutta Cup. Wales' loss to France and later Ireland denied them a second consecutive grand slam.

Participants

During Ireland's 22–15 victory over Scotland on 14 March 2009


The teams involved were:
Nation Home stadium City Head coach Captain
Twickenhammarker Londonmarker Martin Johnson Steve Borthwick
Stade de Francemarker Parismarker Marc Lièvremont Lionel Nallet
Croke Parkmarker Dublinmarker Declan Kidney Brian O'Driscoll
Stadio Flaminiomarker Romemarker Nick Mallett Sergio Parisse
Murrayfieldmarker Edinburghmarker Frank Hadden Mike Blair
Millennium Stadiummarker Cardiffmarker Warren Gatland Ryan JonesMartyn Williams captained Wales in their opening match against Scotland after Jones failed a fitness test hours before kickoff.

Alun Wyn Jones captained Wales in their Round 4 match against Italy, as coach Warren Gatland chose to move Ryan Jones to the bench for that match only.



Squads

Table

Position Nation Games Points Table

points
Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Difference Tries
1 5 5 0 0 121 73 +48 12 10
2 5 3 0 2 124 70 +54 16 6
3 5 3 0 2 124 101 +23 14 6
4 5 3 0 2 100 81 +19 8 6
5 5 1 0 4 79 102 −23 4 2
6 5 0 0 5 49 170 −121 2 0


Note: The first tiebreaker is point difference from all matches, the second is tries scored. After these two tiebreakers the championship is shared.

Fixtures

The fixtures for the 2009 Six Nations were released on 17 April 2008. The France v Wales game on 27 February was the first Friday night game in the history of the championship, both under the Five and Six Nations format.

Week 1







Week 2







Week 3







Ireland won the Millennium Trophy.

Week 4




Ireland won their eighth successive Centenary Quaich.


Week 5

France won their third consecutive Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy.


England won the 121st Calcutta Cup.


Ireland claimed their first Grand Slam since 1948.

Scorers

Try scorers
Tries Name Pld Team
4 Brian O'Driscoll 5
Riki Flutey 5
3 Delon Armitage 5
Maxime Médard 5
2 Julien Malzieu 3
Leigh Halfpenny 3
Shane Williams 4
Mark Cueto 5
Harry Ellis 5
Cédric Heymans 5
Tommy Bowe 5
Luke Fitzgerald 5
Jamie Heaslip 5
Tom Shanklin 5
1 Ugo Monye 2
Paul Sackey 3
Thomas Domingo 3
Fulgence Ouedraogo 3
Francois Trinh-Duc 3
Max Evans 4
Thom Evans 4
Andy Goode 5
Mathew Tait 5
Joe Worsley 5
Sebastien Chabal 5
Thierry Dusautoir 5
Imanol Harinordoquy 5
Dimitri Szarzewski 5
Gordon D'Arcy 5
David Wallace 5
Mirco Bergamasco 5
Sergio Parisse 5
Simon Danielli 5
Scott Gray 5
Lee Byrne 5
Alun Wyn Jones 5


Point scorers
Points Name Pld Team
51 Ronan O'Gara 5
46 Chris Paterson 5
44 Stephen Jones 5
28 Lionel Beauxis 2
26 Morgan Parra 5
23 Brian O'Driscoll 5
22 Toby Flood 5
21 Andy Goode 5
20 Riki Flutey 5
18 Andrea Marcato 3
Luke McLean 3
Delon Armitage 5


References

  1. "Ireland make the running". Six Nations. Accessed 21 March 2009.
  2. "Victory margin flatters erratic Ireland". Six Nations. Accessed 21 March 2009.
  3. "Unbeaten Ireland edge out England". Six Nations. Accessed 21 March 2009.
  4. "Heaslip and Stringer inspire Ireland". Six Nations. Accessed 21 March 2009. Archived 2009-08-14.
  5. Unlike the other head coaches in the 2009 Six Nations, Martin Johnson holds the position of team manager


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