Five of the best final Championship games

Ben Youngs celebrates scoring his side’s first try 21/3/2015
An enthralling 2021 Guinness Six Nations will be brought to a climax on Friday night as France welcome Scotland to Paris in the final game of this year’s Championship.

An enthralling 2021 Guinness Six Nations will be brought to a climax on Friday night as France welcome Scotland to Paris in the final game of this year’s Championship.

In a year like no other, the Round 3 contest at the Stade de France was rescheduled after being postponed in February due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the France camp.

And following a dramatic Super Saturday, which saw France fight back to beat Wales 32-30 and deny Wayne Pivac’s side the Grand Slam, the title remains up for grabs with 80 minutes to go.

France need to defeat Scotland with a bonus point by a 21-point margin of victory or prevail by 20 points and score at least six tries to wrestle the crown away from Wales.

Preview: France v Scotland

Meanwhile, Scotland could still leapfrog both France and Ireland to finish second for their best finish of the Six Nations era so the stakes could not be any higher in Paris.

To mark the final game of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, we’ve cast our minds back to some of the greatest concluding games of the Championship from yesteryear.


Where better to start than the final game of the Five Nations era.

In a scenario that bears closest resemblance to the 2021 permutations, it was Scotland who were relying on Wales to win their final game against England to hand them the title.

England were heavy favourites going into the contest and appeared destined to win the title and the Grand Slam with a six-point advantage as the game entered injury time.

But Wales centre Scott Gibbs produced a moment of magic to evade the despairing white shirts and dot down from 20 metres, with Neil Jenkins converting to seal a famous 32-31 win.

The triumph meant Scotland, who had conjured up their own upset against France a day earlier with a 36-22 success, clinched the Championship on points difference.


Four teams were mathematically in contention to lift the 2007 Championship going into the final round, with France, Ireland, England and Italy all still in with a chance.

Les Bleus topped the standings ahead of Ireland on points difference while England and Italy required wins by large margins – and other results to go their way – to become champions.

Scenarios: How the 2021 Guinness Six Nations title will be decided

Ireland defeated Italy 51-24 in the opening game to leave France requiring a 24-point margin of victory over Scotland at Stade de France to overtake them in the standings.

France recovered from a slow start to lead but were three points short of their target until Elvis Vermeulen crossed for a converted try in injury time to make it 46-19 to the hosts.

That provided France with a 27-point victory and when England were unable to secure the 57-point triumph they required against Wales (losing 27-18), Les Bleus were crowned champions.


Ireland were forced to do it the hard way in the final game of the 2009 Championship as they came from behind to secure their first Grand Slam in 61 years in Cardiff.

The visitors were on the cusp of a famous clean sweep after dispatching of France, Italy, England and Scotland in the opening four rounds before making the trip to Wales.

But they trailed 6-0 at the half-time interval following two penalties from Stephen Jones before tries from Brian O’Driscoll and Tommy Bowe, both converted, put Ireland ahead.

Yet Jones landed another two penalties and a drop goal with five minutes remaining to put Wales 15-14 ahead and within touching distance of clinching the Triple Crown.

There was still time for Ireland to retake the lead, however, through O’Gara’s own drop goal before Jones’ last-gasp penalty fell short as Ireland held on to claim the Grand Slam.


All eyes were on Cardiff in 2013 as unbeaten England faced Wales for the title.

The visitors were on course for the Grand Slam after winning their previous four matches but a victory for Wales would give them two points to put them level with England.

A triumph by more than seven points would see defending champions Wales retain the title on points differential and that’s exactly what played out over an exhilarating 80 minutes.

Leigh Halfpenny struck three penalties to put Wales 9-3 up at the break before the hosts extended their lead after the restart thanks to a try from Alex Cuthbert and another penalty.

A Dan Biggar drop-goal improved their advantage before Cuthbert ran in his second try of the contest and Biggar kicked a final penalty for a memorable 30-3 victory and the title.


It was all to play for heading into the final round of the 2015 Championship as England, Ireland and Wales remained in the hunt for the title after all tasting defeat once.

Wales got the thrills and spills underway in Rome as they scored 47 second-half points to beat Italy and top the standings, setting their Championship rivals a formidable target.

But Ireland, needing a win of 21 points or more to keep their title hopes alive, faced the challenge head on as they stormed to a dominant 40-10 success against Scotland.

That left England with the daunting task of trying to defeat France by 26 points and their race appeared to be run after Les Bleus surged into a 15-7 lead after 18 minutes.

The Red Rose steadily recovered, though, pulling clear of France only to fall six points short of their target after Jack Nowell’s try with five minutes remaining put them 20 ahead.