Ireland claim historic Grand Slam in Dublin against 14-player England


Dan Sheehan (two), Robbie Henshaw, Rob Herring score tries as Ireland win first ever Grand Slam in Dublin; Skipper Johnny Sexton kicked a penalty and three conversions, becoming the leading all-time championship point scorer; Freddie Steward was sent off in final play of first half

Last Updated: 18/03/23 7:10pm

Johnny Sexton led Ireland to a historic Six Nations Grand Slam in Dublin, with victory over England

Ireland claimed a historic first Six Nations Grand Slam in Dublin, and fourth ever, courtesy of a 29-16 victory over England at a fervent Aviva Stadium, after the visitors lost full-back Freddie Steward to a first half red card.

Previous Ireland Grand Slam wins in 1948 (Belfast), 2009 (Cardiff) and 2018 (Twickenham) had each been won away from home, but tries from hooker Dan Sheehan (two), centre Robbie Henshaw and replacement Rob Herring confirmed a title-winning success. Skipper Johnny Sexton also added nine points with the boot in his final Six Nations Test, becoming the all-time points scorer in the championship in the process.

Ireland 29-16 England – Score summary

Ireland – Tries: Sheehan (33, 68), Henshaw (62), Herring (77). Cons: Sexton (35, 63, 70). Pens: Sexton (19).

England – Tries: George (73). Cons: Farrell (73). Pens: Farrell (8, 15, 51).

England skipper Owen Farrell had kicked his side into a 6-0 lead, while the visiting defence proved strong for most of the first half before Sheehan broke through to score. Steward was then sent off by South African referee Jaco Peyper with Ireland 10-6 ahead for making head contact with opposite number Hugo Keenan, though, in a harsh decision, with the England man turning away and bracing for contact after a knock-on more than initiating a forceful act.

In Peyper’s defence, Keenan would not return for the second half such was the ferocity of the impact to his head, and despite the hosts putting in a nervy performance on the whole, nothing could sour Ireland’s day after a marvellous championship clean sweep for Andy Farrell’s squad.

More to follow…

What’s next?

Ireland complete their 2023 Six Nations campaign with a record of five wins from five, having beaten France and England in Dublin, and won on the road vs Wales, Italy and Scotland.

Farrell’s side are next in international action in August for their Rugby World Cup warm-up Tests, with two games announced so far vs Italy (August 5) at Murrayfield, and England (August 19) at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s Six Nations 2023 fixtures

Saturday, February 4 Wales 10-34 Ireland
Saturday, February 11 Ireland 32-19 France
Saturday, February 25 Italy 20-34 Ireland
Sunday, March 12 Scotland 7-22 Ireland
Saturday, March 18 Ireland 29-16 England

England finish their campaign under Borthwick with three defeats from five and two wins, after home losses to Scotland and France at Twickenham, a loss to Ireland in Dublin, as well as a home win over Italy and away win vs Wales.

Borthwick’s charges have announced four Rugby World Cup warm-up fixtures for August: vs Wales (August 5) in Cardiff, Wales (August 12) at Twickenham, Ireland (August 19) in Dublin, and Fiji (August 26) and Twickenham.

England’s Six Nations 2023 fixtures

Saturday, February 4 England 23-29 Scotland
Sunday, February 12 England 31-14 Italy
Saturday, February 25 Wales 10-20 England
Saturday, March 11 England 10-53 France
Saturday, March 18 Ireland 29-16 England