England Backing Ireland In Yesterday’s RWC Vote Compared To 1973 Moment
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When the chips are down.
A lot of talk has surrounded yesterday’s Rugby World Cup 2023 vote, and Scotland and Wales’ failure to back Ireland’s bid.
The Scottish have admitted that they went for the money in backing France, while Wales wanted to following the technical review and back South Africa due to the connections that Gareth Davies has with World Rugby and Rugby World Cup ltd.
Regardless, it still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for Ireland. No doubt we expected our closest neighbours to support us, in what was likely our first and only attempt at hosting the showpiece event.
In the end it was only England and the RFU who stood behind Ireland, with many people on social media comparing yesterday to the infamous events of 1972/1973.
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) November 15, 2017
Those of us old enough to remember 1972/73 know that England always show up.
— Samloosehead (@samirwin50) November 15, 2017
In the height of the troubles Scotland and Wales refused to travel in 1972 for the five nations, denying them a rare chance of winning a Grand Slam after away victories against England and France.
One year later England bravely defied IRA death threats to travel to Ireland and take them on in Landsdowne Road. On match day the idea was for both sides to walk out together as a sign of unity but such was the extraordinary ovation for England from the 50,000 Lansdowne Road crowd that they were motioned forward to take their applause before the anthems.
Ireland ending up winning the close-fought affair 18-9, with England captain John Pullin’s post-match comments immortalised to this day.
“We might not be the greatest team in the world,” said the English front row.
“But at least we turn up.”