Ireland beat England to win Six Nations Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day
A packed-out Twickenham erupted in a thunderous roar as the men in green stormed to victory on the feast day of Saint Patrick.
Irish rugby fans hailed a glorious Saint Patrick’s Day after clinching the Grand Slam against England at Twickenham.
London turned green as Ireland’s triumphant rugby squad took their place in Irish folklore following the Six Nations showdown.
Ireland had already won the Six Nations – their third in five years – but secured a tremendous triumph over England to cement their third ever Grand Slam.
A packed-out Twickenham erupted in a thunderous roar as the men in green stormed to victory on the feast day of Saint Patrick, beating England 24 to 15.
Despite flurries of snow, the Guinness flowed and there was an Irish invasion of fans in pubs near the stadium in south west London, the home of English rugby.
At the nearby Cabbage Patch pub, Jamie O’Brien, 23, from Tipperary, said: “I’m ecstatic. I’ve never been so happy in all my living days.”
Peter Lyons, 35, from Ballymote in County Sligo, said: “It’s one of the most special moments going. It’s the second time we’ve won the Grand Slam since I’ve been alive.”
Trevor Hartin, 44, originally from Ballycastle in County Antrim, said: “It’s going to be a bloody long weekend!
“And most importantly we’re going to be pretty special at the World Cup next year.”
Grand Slam, Paddy's day, in London, vs England. Unreal ☘— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) March 17, 2018
Karen McCarthy, 31, from Kilmallock, County Limerick, said: “Sensational. What better way to spend Paddy’s Day in London with Ireland winning the Grand Slam.
“There’s no better feeling than a bit of retribution.”
Bronwyn Walton, originally from Dungannon in County Tyrone, said the Irish fans dominated the stadium.
“At some points it felt like you were in the Aviva in Dublin because of the volume of noise.
“Usually Twickenham is loud and English, but today the Irish were giving them a run for their money.”
She added: “I just thought it was brilliant. This was their big opportunity.”
Rachel Feeney, 43, who lives in England but her father is from Ballinsasloe, said: “I feel delighted that Ireland won.
“In this tournament they’ve been a force no one else can contend with.”
Jacqui Simpson, 50, from Moira, County Armagh, said: “It was a fabulous match. Saint Patrick’s Day was great, totally different.
“Even better to win at Twickenham.”
John Quinlan, 70, who is from Bath but whose father is from County Waterford, said: “They defended so well. Fantastic. It’s wonderful on Saint Patrick’s Day. A double celebration.”
With tickets akin to gold dust, hundreds of Irish fans travelled to Twickenham just to soak up the atmosphere.
Ciaran Walsh, 22, from Cork, said he was “barbarically excited”, adding: “It is a seismic day in Irish rugby history.”
Conor Crowley, 22, also from Cork, said: “It is a Herculean day in the Irish rugby calendar.”
One young man wrapped himself in an Irish flag which had the words “Scummy Irish” scrawled across it, in reference to England coach Eddie Jones’ comments which surfaced in a YouTube video this week.
His comments were made in a talk for Mitsubishi parent company Fuso in July 2017.
Jones insisted he was “very sorry” in a statement on Wednesday evening, shortly after the video came to light.
And a spokesman confirmed that the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) had received a phone call and apology from their English counterparts.