After obliterating Scottish opposition by a combined 113 points to 13, the men’s and women’s rugby teams have arrived back on home soil as Six Nations champions.
Having captained his side to back-to-back titles, it was only fitting that Paul O’Connell led the men’s team out to meet the fans after they touched down in Dublin Airport yesterday afternoon.
Hundreds of people had gathered to cheer the players whose 40-10 victory over the Scots 24 hours earlier gave them just enough points to pip England and Wales to the title.
The drama of the final day — it was a nail-biting three-hours after the match before fans and players alike knew England had not done enough — meant yesterday’s welcome was all the more heartfelt.
Appreciating what the victory meant to the fans, the players spent a long time signing autographs and jerseys and posing for selfies, even letting some have a hold of the replica trophy which will be replaced by the real one when it arrives from Twickenham later this week.
Last night, after meeting the fans, the players had the chance for another celebration, this time with family and friends at an event in a Dublin hotel before a number of them prepare today to head back to join up with their provincial teammates.
Yesterday, the women’s side, led by captain Niamh Briggs, posted a massive 73-3 victory, including 11 tries, over their Scottish counterparts at Scotland’s Broadwood Stadium. That was more than enough to wipe out the 27-point winning margin required to beat the French to the Six Nations title — they were 37-3 in the lead by half-time.
Ireland also won the RBS Women’s Six Nations this weekend.
After initial celebrations in Scotland, the championship-winning side flew back into Dublin last night.
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