No team in the Six Nations era has been able to achieve the feat

Ireland are aiming to complete an achievement no other team has managed in the Six Nations, back-to-back Grand Slams.

The Six Nations era began in 2000 when Italy entered the competition. England attempted to make history as the first ones to secure consecutive Grand Slams in 2017. The year before they had beaten every team in Eddie Jones’ first Six Nations as England boss and things were going to plan in 2017 until the final round.

Related: Six Nations history

England came up against Ireland, who beat them 13-9. Jones’ team still won the trophy but the elusive record escaped their grasp.

Ireland are the in-form team of the 2024 tournament and are favourites to become the record-breakers. So far they have dominantly beaten France and Italy in their title defence.

But have a team ever won back-to-back Grand Slams? And who was the last to do it?

Who has won back-to-back Grand Slams?

Three different nations have claimed consecutive Grand Slams in the past. Wales did so in 1908-09 when the tournament was called the Home Nations Championship (France and Italy were not involved). England did so three times in the Five Nations era in 1913-14, 1923-24 and 1991-92. But it is France who have claimed the feat most recently after winning both the 1997 and 1998 Five Nations with a Grand Slam.

France did not have an easy ride in recording the victories. In 1997 they convincingly beat Scotland and Ireland but were run close by England and Wales. France hosted Wales in the third round and out-scored them by one try, thanks in part to two scores from Laurent Leflamand, to seal a 27-22 victory.

France then had to travel to Twickenham and it was Leflamand who came good once again with a try in their 23-20 win. But against their Le Crunch rivals, Christophe Lamaison was the hero with a drop goal, two conversions and two penalties in the match.

In 1998, the team had dominant wins over Scotland and Wales. When they played England it was a more convincing win for the French this time with a 24-17 triumph but against Ireland it went down to the wire.

France scored two tries to Ireland’s one but it still was just a two-point game as the match finished 18-16. And now the team who almost stopped France from entering the history books are searching for their own piece of history.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was asked about the record before the 2024 Six Nations began. “We all know that winning a Six Nations is very hard to do because of the standard of the teams continues to grow and that’s why we all love it,” he said.

“What does success look like? We want to win every game and winning matters. I’ve never been one from shying away from that.”

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