What Is A Grand Slam?

A Grand Slam is when one side wins every game in a single Six Nations Championship – or Five Nations as it used to be.

It is an incredible achievement to defeat all of your rivals in the one calendar year. And it is not easy to do. Since 2000, when Italy were invited in to expand the Five Nations into the Six Nations, no one has ever won a Grand Slam more than three times.

France and Wales have both won three Grand Slams in the Six Nations – the French achieved this in 2002, 2004 and 2010, while Wales did so in 2005, 2008 and 2012.

Related: Paul Grayson on Ireland’s Grand Slam hopes

Although they have won the most Grand Slams across any era, with 13, England only have two Six Nations Grand Slams to their name, with a clean sweep in 2003 and then in 2016.

Ireland have one Six Nations Grand Slam to their credit, which was achieved in 2009 (as shown in the image above). However, Scotland have not won a Grand Slam since the tournament expanded to welcome in the Italians – who have never won a Grand Slam.

What Is A Grand Slam?

Strike a pose: Eddie Jones after England’s Grand Slam in 2016

Warren Gatland of Wales (two) and Eddie Jones of England (one) are the only current Six Nations head coaches who have led their sides to Grand Slam glory. Could Joe Schmidt be the first man to take Ireland to a Slam after Declan Kidney did so in 2009? They have three wins from three so far in the Six Nations, with Scotland heading to Dublin in round four. They are the only team who can possibly achieve a Grand Slam in 2018.

Related: Ireland v Scotland preview 

You can read Eddie Jones’s memories of the 2016 Grand Slam win – and loads more – in the My Life in Pictures feature in the current issue of Rugby World magazine. Check out what else is inside the latest issue.