2003 Six Nations Championship

The 2003 Six Nations Championship was the fourth series of the rugby union Six Nations Championship, and the 109th international championship overall. The annual tournament was won by England, who completed a grand slam, and went on to win the 2003 Rugby World Cup later the same year. Italy won their first match with Wales (30-22), finishing in 5th place for the first time in the process.

2003 Six Nations Championship
Date15 February – 30 March 2003
Countries England
Tournament statistics
Champions England (25th title)
Grand Slam England (12th title)
Triple Crown England (23rd title)
Calcutta Cup England
Millennium Trophy England
Centenary Quaich Ireland
Matches played15
Tries scored74 (4.93 per match)
Top point scorer(s)England Jonny Wilkinson (77)
Top try scorer(s)France Damien Traille (4)
2002 (Previous) (Next) 2004

This was the sixth time in the Championship's history, but the first time since it became the Six Nations, that two teams met in the final round with undefeated records, both England and Ireland having won their first four games, making the final match a decider for the Grand Slam. It was also the first time Ireland had been involved: and the first that was won by the away team. Wales were whitewashed, losing all five of their games, and earned themselves the wooden spoon as a result.


The teams involved were:

Nation Venue City Head coach Captain
  England Twickenham London Clive Woodward Martin Johnson/Jonny Wilkinson
  France Stade de France Paris Bernard Laporte Fabien Galthié/Fabien Pelous
  Ireland Lansdowne Road Dublin Eddie O'Sullivan Brian O'Driscoll
  Italy Stadio Flaminio Rome John Kirwan Alessandro Troncon
  Scotland Murrayfield Edinburgh Ian McGeechan Bryan Redpath
  Wales Millennium Stadium Cardiff Steve Hansen Colin Charvis/Martyn Williams



Position Nation Games Points Table
Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Difference Tries
1   England 5 5 0 0 173 46 +127 18 10
2   Ireland 5 4 0 1 119 97 +22 10 8
3   France 5 3 0 2 153 75 +78 17 6
4   Scotland 5 2 0 3 81 161 −80 7 4
5   Italy 5 1 0 4 100 185 −85 12 2
6   Wales 5 0 0 5 82 144 −62 10 0


Round 1Edit

15 February 2003
13:30 GMT
Italy   30–22   Wales
Try: De Carli
Con: Dominguez (3)
Pen: Dominguez (2)
Drop: Dominguez
Report Try: S. Williams
Con: Harris (2)
Pen: Harris
Stadio Flaminio, Rome
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Joël Jutge (France)

15 February 2003
16:00 GMT
England   25–17   France
Try: Robinson
Con: Wilkinson
Pen: Wilkinson (5)
Drop: Wilkinson
Report Try: Magne
Con: Merceron
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 73,500
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

16 February 2003
15:00 GMT
Scotland   6–36   Ireland
Pen: Ross (2)
Report Try: Hickie
Con: Humphreys (3)
Pen: Humphreys (5)
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 67,500
Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)

Round 2Edit

22 February 2003
14:30 GMT
Italy   13–37   Ireland
Try: Dallan
Con: Pez
Pen: Dominguez
Report Try: Stringer
Con: Humphreys (3)
Pen: Humphreys (2)
Stadio Flaminio, Rome
Attendance: 22,500
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

22 February 2003
17:30 GMT
Wales   9–26   England
Pen: Sweeney (3)
Report Try: Greenwood
Con: Wilkinson (2)
Pen: Wilkinson (2)
Drop: Wilkinson (2)
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 69,727
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

23 February 2003
14:00 GMT
France   38–3   Scotland
Try: Pelous
Con: Gelez (3)
Pen: Gelez (4)
Report Pen: Paterson

Round 3Edit

8 March 2003
14:00 GMT
Ireland   15–12   France
Pen: Humphreys (4)
Drop: Murphy
Report Pen: Gelez (4)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 47,500
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)

8 March 2003
16:00 GMT
Scotland   30–22   Wales
Try: Douglas
Con: Paterson (3)
Pen: Paterson (3)
Report Try: Cooper
R. Williams
Con: S. Jones (2)
Pen: S. Jones
  • Referee Pablo De Luca was injured during the match and replaced by touch judge Tony Spreadbury at half-time.[1]

9 March 2003
14:00 GMT
England   40–5   Italy
Try: Lewsey (2)
Con: Wilkinson (4)
Report Try: Mi. Bergamasco
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 72,000
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Round 4Edit

22 March 2003
14:00 GMT
Wales   24–25   Ireland
Try: S. Jones
M. Williams
Con: S. Jones (3)
Drop: S. Jones
Report Try: Gleeson (2)
Pen: Humphreys (4)
Drop: O'Gara
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 72,500
Referee: Steve Lander (England)

22 March 2003
16:00 GMT
England   40–9   Scotland
Try: Robinson (2)
Con: Wilkinson (3)
Paul Grayson
Pen: Wilkinson (4)
Report Pen: Paterson (3)
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 72,000
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

23 March 2003
14:00 GMT
Italy   27–53   France
Try: Pez
Mi. Bergamasco
Con: Pez (2)
Pen: Pez
Report Try: Traille (2)
Rougerie (2)
Con: Yachvili (6)
Pen: Yachvili (2)
Stadio Flaminio, Rome
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Nigel Williams (Wales)

Round 5Edit

29 March 2003
13:00 GMT
France   33–5   Wales
Try: Castaginède
Con: Yachvili (3)
Pen: Yachvili (4)
Report Try: Thomas

29 March 2003
15:00 GMT
Scotland   33–25   Italy
Try: White
Con: Paterson (2)
Pen: Paterson (3)
Report Try: Mi. Bergamasco
Con: Pez (2)
Pen: Pez (2)
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 45,739
Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

30 March 2003
14:00 BST
Ireland   6–42   England
Pen: Humphreys
Drop: Humphreys
Report Try: Greenwood (2)
Con: Wilkinson (3)
Pen: Wilkinson
Drop: Wilkinson (2)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 47,900
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

Red carpet incidentEdit

The deciding game between Ireland and England was overshadowed by an incident in the pre-game ceremonies in which the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, had to walk on the grass instead of the red carpet to meet the Irish team. England had lined up on the left hand side when facing the tunnel, which was said to be Ireland's lucky side. When asked to move his team, England captain Martin Johnson refused, so Ireland lined up to the left of them, with no team now on the right hand side, leaving insufficient red carpet on that side. A day after the game the Irish Rugby Football Union sent a written apology to the president for the England team's failure to "follow established and communicated protocol", while the Rugby Football Union also sent her a "full and unreserved apology".[2] Having dismissed it at the time as "a fuss about nothing", Johnson later explained ahead of meeting the president again in Ireland for the 2011 Championship that he had lined up on that side as it was customary to line up on the side you warmed up on, that he had no prior knowledge of the protocol, and his subsequent refusal to move was because the request came from some "random guy", rather than the match referee.[3]


  1. ^ Harris, Norman (8 March 2003). "Scots on rampage". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  2. ^ "RUGBY: Rugby apology for McAleese". UTV. 31 March 2003. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  3. ^ "18 March 2011". Irish Examiner. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.