If losing the Grand Slam to Ireland was not bad enough, England have suffered the embarrassment of a celebration video being leaked to YouTube as well as thousands of unwanted commemorative T-shirts in the wake of Saturday’s 24-8 defeat at Lansdowne Road.
England’s official kit suppliers Nike produced a special video under the title ‘Grand Slam Champions 2011’ featuring a montage of Toby Flood, Chris Ashton, Ben Foden and other players in expectation of the odds-on favourites completing their first Six Nations clean sweep since 2003.
Embarrassingly, the video made its way onto internet site YouTube, much to the delight of Irish supporters, while it also emerged that Nike had printed 5,000 special limited edition T-shirts “inspired by the iconic Embarrassment for England as celebration video hits web image of the English rose”, which were due to go on sale at the final whistle.
Plans for celebratory screen advertisements at Waterloo, Kings Cross, Euston and Charing Cross train stations also had to be shelved.
Despite their Grand Slam failure, England still claimed the Six Nations championship but find themselves behind Ireland in the world rankings, with Declan Kidney’s side leapfrogging the English and French into fourth place, making them the top-rated northern hemisphere side ahead of the World Cup later this year.