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5 things we learned from the 2019 Guinness Six Nations

UK Sport | Published:

Wales secured a third Grand Slam under Warren Gatland’s leadership.

Wales seized the 2019 Guinness Six Nations title from Ireland while Italy were condemned to the wooden spoon in a dramatic final day.

Here, Press Association Sport examines five things learned from the tournament.

Gatty the GOAT

Warren Gatland is the Six Nations' greatest coach
Warren Gatland is the Six Nations’ greatest coach (David Davies/PA)

All hail Alun Wyn…

2019 Six Nations team of the tournament, as chosen by PA's Rugby Union Correspondent Andrew Baldock
2019 Six Nations team of the tournament, as chosen by PA’s Rugby Union Correspondent Andrew Baldock (PA Graphics)

…and Wales

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Wales’ fourth Grand Slam of the Six Nations era is a record and they will enter the World Cup as standard bearers for Europe after climbing to second place in the international rankings with only New Zealand above them. The last team to complete the clean sweep in the same year as the global showpiece was England in 2003 – and look how that turned out.

Ireland fading

What happened to Ireland is the biggest puzzle. The defending champions were rightly viewed as the team to beat but from the moment they were swept aside by England in Dublin, they floundered. Joe Schmidt’s Midas touch deserted him, half-back generals Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton were out of kilter and their discipline disintegrated. Viewed pre-Six Nations as the greatest threat to New Zealand’s throne, the players now retreat to their provinces with shattered confidence.

Fragile England

England boss Eddie Jones has problems heading to the World Cup
England boss Eddie Jones has problems heading to the World Cup, (Gareth Fuller/PA)

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