1974 Five Nations Championship

The 1974 Five Nations Championship was the forty-fifth series of the rugby union Five Nations Championship. Including the previous incarnations as the Home Nations and Five Nations, this was the eightieth series of the northern hemisphere rugby union championship. Ten matches were played between 19 January and 16 March. It was contested by England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The championship was won by Ireland, the team's eighth outright title (seven other titles had been shared with other teams).

1974 Five Nations Championship
Date19 January - 16 March 1974
Countries England
Tournament statistics
Champions Ireland (8th title)
Calcutta Cup Scotland
Matches played10
Tries scored22 (2.2 per match)
Top point scorer(s)England Alan Old (33)
Top try scorer(s)Ireland Mike Gibson (2)
Wales J.J. Williams (2) England D Duckham (2)
1973 (Previous) (Next) 1975

This was the first time ever that two games were played on the same weekend. This was brought in after the request from some teams, who complained that they had to always play early on in the year when bad weather prevailed, but others played in March, when the weather was better.

To get round this problem, the new format saw each team play each other's fixtures in a rotational period of scheduling. As an example, Scotland played England last in 1975, 1980, 1985. In 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, the Scotland v England fixture was on the second weekend.

The 1974 tournament was closely contested with three of the matches ending in draws. Ireland topped the table after four rounds but had to sit out the final round of matches. Both France and Wales had chances to win the title, but both lost their last games. Welsh winger J. J. Williams appeared to score a winning try late in their game against England, but it was disallowed by referee John West, an Irishman, leading singer and Welsh rugby fan Max Boyce to compose a song about "blind Irish referees".[1]


The teams involved were:

Nation Venue City Head coach Captain
  England Twickenham London John Elders John Pullin
  France Parc des Princes Paris Jean Desclaux Max Barrau/Elie Cester
  Ireland Lansdowne Road Dublin Syd Millar Willie John McBride
  Scotland Murrayfield Edinburgh Bill Dickinson Ian McLauchlan
  Wales National Stadium Cardiff Clive Rowlands Gareth Edwards


Position Nation Games Points Table
Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Difference
1   Ireland 4 2 1 1 50 45 +5 5
2   Scotland 4 2 0 2 41 35 +6 4
2   Wales 4 1 2 1 43 41 +2 4
2   France 4 1 2 1 43 53 −10 4
5   England 4 1 1 2 63 66 −3 3



19 January 1974
France   9–6   Ireland
Tries: Boffelli
Con.: Aguirre
Pen.: Bérot
Pen.: Ensor (2)
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 43,694
Referee: Alan Hosie (Scotland)
19 January 1974
Wales   6–0   Scotland
Tries: Cobner
Con.: Bennett
National Stadium, Cardiff
Referee: R. F. Johnson (England)

2 February 1974
Ireland   9–9   Wales
Pen.: Ensor (3) Tries: J.J. Williams
Con.: Bennett
Pen.: Bennett
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Referee: K. A. Pattinson (England)
2 February 1974
Scotland   16–14   England
Tries: Irvine
Con.: Irvine
Pen.: Irvine (2)
Tries: Cotton
Pen.: Old
Drops: Rossborough
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Referee: J. Saint-Guilhem (France)

16 February 1974
Wales   16–16   France
Tries: J.J. Williams
Pen.: Bennett (3)
Drops: Edwards
Tries: Lux
Pen.: Romeu (3)
Drops: Romeu
National Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 60,000
Referee: N. Sanson (Scotland)
16 February 1974
England   21–26   Ireland
Tries: Squires
Con.: Old
Pen.: Old (5)
Tries: Gibson (2)
Con.: Gibson (2)
Pen.: Ensor
Drops: Quinn
Twickenham, London
Referee: M. Joseph (Wales)

2 March 1974
Ireland   9–6   Scotland
Tries: Milliken
Con.: Gibson
Pen.: McKinney
Pen.: Irvine (2)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Referee: F. Palmade (France)
2 March 1974
France   12–12   England
Tries: Romeu
Con.: Romeu
Pen.: Romeu
Drops: Romeu
Tries: Duckham
Con.: Old
Pen.: Old
Drops: Evans
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 43,964
Referee: J. C. Kelleher (Wales)

16 March 1974
Scotland   19–6   France
Tries: Dick
Con.: Irvine
Pen.: Irvine (2)
Pen.: Romeu
Drops: Romeu
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Attendance: 60,000
Referee: K. H. Clark (Ireland)
16 March 1974
England   16–12   Wales
Tries: Duckham
Con.: Old
Pen.: Old (2)
Tries: Davies
Con.: Bennett
Pen.: Bennett (2)
Twickenham, London
Referee: J. R. West (Ireland)

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "The Sporting 'Wests'". 14 February 2007. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
Preceded by Five Nations Championship
Succeeded by