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Behind Every Try: Memorable Plays in Six Nations History

Rugby player kicking the ball during a match at a stadium behind every try: Memorable Plays in Six Nations History.

A rugby ball soars over the try line in a bustling stadium.Rugby fans cherish the moments that define a tournament. The Six Nations has given us many such memories, like Johnny Wilkinson’s drop goal in 2003. This blog post will dive into the most thrilling plays and key moments from Six Nations history, bringing them to life once again.

Read on for tales of rugby glory!

Key Takeaways

  • The Six Nations Championship, originally the Home Nations Championship starting in 1883, has expanded from four to six teams with England holding the most overall wins.
  • Memorable moments include Johnny Wilkinson’s drop goal securing England’s win in 2003 and Ronan O’Gara’s Grand Slam-winning kick for Ireland in 2009.
  • Historic plays like Cyril Lowe’s eight tries during the 1914 tournament and George Lindsay’s five tries against Wales in one match stand as record-breaking performances.
  • Emotional anthems at Croke Park in 2007 displayed unity and respect, moving beyond sport into Irish-British relations.
  • Shane Williams is noted for being Wales’ top try scorer ever and fourth internationally among test try scorers.

The Beginning of the Six Nations

The Six Nations Championship started as a competition between the four home nations – England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Its roots stretch back to 1883 when these teams first clashed in what was originally known as the Home Nations Championship.

As rugby grew in popularity across Europe, France joined the fray in 1910, expanding the tournament and rebranding it as the Five Nations. Fast-forward to 2000: Italy’s entrance added fresh energy to the fray and marked a new chapter with six competing national teams.

This evolution of European rugby union has given fans countless classic moments in Six Nations history. Stories behind memorable plays unfolded on this grand stage where legends like Cyril Lowe and George Lindsay etched their names into rugby history with record-breaking tries.

Each nation brings fierce passion and rivalry that make every match an unforgettable part of sports history. The championship swings open doors for iconic players to step up—like Williams for Wales—and leave their mark with epic comebacks or game-winning performances that are talked about years later.

With each passing year, the Guinness Six Nations weaves new tales into its comprehensive narrative—a testament to tradition and transformation within international rugby union championships.

Most Successful Teams in Six Nations History

England, France, Ireland, and Wales have been the most successful teams in Six Nations history, with each team having their own iconic moments and legendary players that have left a lasting impact on the championship.


England holds a significant spot in the history of the Six Nations tournament, with the most overall wins. Their memorable plays include Jason Robinson’s brilliant try against France in 2002 and Johnny Wilkinson’s iconic drop goal against Ireland in 2003.

Notably, Cyril Lowe’s exceptional performance in scoring eight tries during the 1914 Five Nations tournament led England to a Grand Slam victory. The team’s remarkable contributions have left an indelible mark on rugby history, making them a force to be reckoned with in the Guinness Six Nations championship.

Additionally, England witnessed historic moments such as epic comebacks and classic encounters, adding to the allure of their participation in one of rugby union’s greatest championships.


Transitioning from the most successful team in Six Nations history, England, let’s now turn our attention to France. With a rich history in rugby, France has been a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.

From their fierce rivalry with England to their iconic moments on the field, France has left an indelible mark on Six Nations history.

In 2002, Jason Robinson made a brilliant try for England against France that is still etched in fans’ memories today. Not to be outdone, France has also produced some unforgettable plays throughout the years.


Transitioning from the memorable plays of France to Ireland, it’s impossible not to mention Ronan O’Gara’s grand slam-winning drop goal in 2009. This iconic moment marked Ireland’s achievement of their first Grand Slam since 1948, immortalising a remarkable performance by the team and securing a place in Six Nations history.

Ireland has also left its mark on the Six Nations tournament with notable players like Brian O’Driscoll and Keith Wood, who have contributed to some of the most thrilling moments in rugby history.

The team’s resilience and determination have created historic moments that continue to inspire rugby fans worldwide.


Transitioning from the thrilling moments in Ireland’s Six Nations history, Wales has also left an indelible mark on the tournament. With a rich rugby heritage, Wales boasts numerous iconic players and memorable plays.

One notable figure is Shane Williams, who holds the record for most tries scored by a Welsh player and ranks fourth internationally for test try scorers. From his impressive performances to historic encounters, Wales has been a pivotal force in shaping the unforgettable moments that define Six Nations history.

The Guinness Six Nations has witnessed remarkable displays of skill and sportsmanship from Welsh rugby players throughout its history. Alun Wyn Jones‘ exemplary leadership masterclass in 2019 is just one example of how Wales continues to contribute to the tournament’s enduring legacy.

Top Moments in Six Nations History

– From Jason Robinson’s iconic try in 2002 to Alun Wyn Jones’ leadership masterclass in 2019, the Six Nations has seen some truly unforgettable moments. Each play holds a special place in rugby history and continues to inspire fans and players alike.

Jason Robinson’s Try (2002)

Jason Robinson made a brilliant try for England against France in 2002. His exceptional speed and agility manoeuvred through the French defence, securing a pivotal moment in Six Nations history.

The unforgettable play showcased Robinson’s remarkable skill and determination, leaving a lasting impression on fans and solidifying his legacy as one of rugby’s top players.

Robinson’s try stands as an iconic moment, symbolising the intensity and excitement that the Six Nations tournament delivers year after year. His performance became an inspiration for future generations of rugby enthusiasts, emphasising the thrill and passion that defines this historic competition.

Johnny Wilkinson’s Drop Goal (2003)

Transitioning from Jason Robinson’s incredible try in 2002, we come to another unforgettable moment in Six Nations history – Johnny Wilkinson’s iconic drop goal in 2003. With the England team locked in a tense battle against Ireland, it was Johnny Wilkinson who seized the opportunity.

In the final moments of the match, with nerves running high and time winding down, he calmly executed a precision drop goal that sealed England’s victory. This memorable play not only showcased his exceptional skill but also secured England’s place in rugby history.

The significance of Johnny Wilkinson’s drop goal cannot be overstated. It wasn’t just about scoring points; it was about delivering under immense pressure and making a decisive impact on one of rugby’s most prestigious stages.

The Anthems at Croke Park (2007)

In 2007, Croke Park hosted a historic moment during the Six Nations tournament when the rugby world witnessed an emotionally charged event. It marked the first time that “God Save the Queen” and “Ireland’s Call” were sung at Croke Park as part of the pre-match anthems.

This powerful display symbolised a significant step in Irish-British relations, displaying unity and respect in a pivotal sporting context.

The anthems at Croke Park in 2007 showcased how sport has the potential to transcend political tensions and serve as a unifying force. As both teams stood together on Irish soil singing their respective national anthems, it portrayed a profound message of reconciliation and sportsmanship that resonated beyond the rugby field.

Ronan O’Gara’s Grand Slam Winning Drop Goal (2009)

Ronan O’Gara’s iconic drop goal in 2009 secured Ireland the Grand Slam in a dramatic finale. The nerve-wracking play occurred during the final moments of the match against Wales, with O’Gara clinically slotting the ball through the posts to secure Ireland’s victory and cement his place in Six Nations history.

Renowned for his composure under pressure, O’Gara’s unforgettable moment encapsulates the essence of top-level rugby.

The historic drop goal from Ronan O’Gara epitomises sporting excellence, providing fans with an enduring memory of Six Nations drama and determination. With this legendary strike, O’Gara etched his name into the annals of Guinness Six Nations history, leaving a lasting impression on rugby enthusiasts worldwide while securing a memorable win for Ireland.

Elliot Daly’s Try (2017)

Elliot Daly made an unforgettable impact in the 2017 Six Nations with his spectacular try against Wales. Sprinting down the wing, he evaded multiple defenders before touching down in the corner, showcasing skill and determination.

His sensational play not only secured a crucial win for England but also etched his name into the tournament’s history books as one of its standout moments.

Daly’s remarkable try captivated fans and epitomised the excitement and drama that makes rugby union such a thrilling sport to watch live or on television. It highlighted the exceptional talent and athleticism of the players while creating lasting memories for all who witnessed it unfold.

The anticipation of similar awe-inspiring moments continues to draw rugby enthusiasts to eagerly follow each year’s Six Nations championship.

Johnny Sexton’s Last-Second Drop Goal (2018)

In 2018, Johnny Sexton secured a dramatic victory for Ireland with his last-second drop goal against France. This iconic moment not only helped Ireland secure the Grand Slam but also solidified Sexton’s reputation as one of the most talented and composed players on the rugby field.

His precise kick under intense pressure will be remembered as one of the standout moments in Six Nations history, showcasing his exceptional skill and mental fortitude.

Sexton’s last-second heroics have etched his name into rugby folklore, serving as an inspiration to aspiring players and a testament to the thrill and unpredictability that makes rugby such a captivating sport.

Alun Wyn Jones’ Leadership Masterclass (2019)

Coming off the high of Johnny Sexton’s dramatic last-second drop goal in 2018, Alun Wyn Jones delivered a leadership masterclass during the 2019 Six Nations tournament. Leading Wales to an outstanding Grand Slam victory, Jones’ influential captaincy and unwavering determination inspired his team to achieve remarkable success on the field.

With his exceptional leadership qualities and ability to rally his teammates, Jones set a prime example of what it means to lead by sheer force of will and dedication.

During the 2019 Six Nations tournament, Alun Wyn Jones proved himself as not only an outstanding player but also a formidable leader. His strong presence on the pitch and strategic decision-making undoubtedly played a significant role in Wales’ triumphant campaign.

Record-Breaking Tries in Six Nations

Cyril Lowe left a mark in the 1914 Five Nations tournament, scoring eight tries and contributing to England’s Grand Slam victory. He holds the record for most tries in a single season.

Another unforgettable moment is when Scotland’s George Lindsay scored five tries against Wales in 1887—the most by any player in a single match throughout Six Nations history. Furthermore, Shane Williams’ outstanding performance led him to become the record try scorer for Wales and secured his place as fourth on the international list of leading rugby union test try scorers.

In addition, there have been numerous iconic moments of exceptional plays throughout the years, showcasing superb skill and resilience from talented athletes. These records reflect not only individual brilliance but also teamwork and sportsmanship that have made lasting impressions on rugby fans worldwide.

Opportunities to Experience the Six Nations Live

  • Secure tickets to witness the intense battles between the top rugby nations, soaking in the incredible energy of the stadium.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant pre – match festivities, embracing the passion and camaraderie among fellow fans.
  • Engage in interactive fan zones, where you can enjoy fun activities and connect with like-minded rugby enthusiasts.
  • Embark on a memorable rugby – themed tour, exploring historic venues and gaining insights into the tournament’s rich heritage.


Relive the unforgettable plays that have defined the Six Nations history. Immerse yourself in the iconic moments, from Jason Robinson’s brilliant try in 2002 to Johnny Sexton’s last-second drop goal in 2018.

Discover the stories behind historic rugby plays and experience the passion of this renowned tournament firsthand. Witness epic comebacks and record-breaking tries, celebrating the legacy of memorable moments that continue to thrill rugby fans worldwide.


1. What are some iconic moments in Six Nations history?

Iconic moments in Six Nations history include dramatic try records, epic comebacks, and unforgettable plays that have become top moments in rugby history.

2. Can you tell me about a memorable play from the Six Nations?

Yes, there have been many memorable plays where players made historic moves that turned games around and added to the stories behind memorable rugby plays.

3. What makes a try record in the Six Nations so special?

A try record in the Six Nations is special because it highlights an individual’s skill and team strategy, contributing to some of the most epic moments in this storied tournament.

4. How do I learn about historic moments from past Six Nations tournaments?

To discover historic moments from past Six Nations tournaments, look at recaps of games for descriptions of memorable tries and other standout performances that capture the essence of this enduring competition.

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